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Belt and Road

Belt and Road provides exporters with a brief analysis of political and economic risks for the countries under the Belt and Road Initiative.
Flag and map of Kuwait

 
Key Information
Capital   Kuwait City
Population   4.5 million
Area   17,818 sq km
Currency   Kuwaiti dinar (pegged to a basket of currencies, 1 KWD = 3.3183 USD as of 13 February 2019)
Official language   Arabic
Form of government   Constitutional emirate (monarchy)
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 97 out of 190 in 2019 (↓1)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 54 out of 140 in 2018 (↑2)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 63 out of 160 in 2018
Major merchandise exports (% of total, 2016*)   Major merchandise imports (% of total, 2016*)
Oil & oil products (88.9%)   Intermediate goods (40.0%)
Non-oil (11.1%)   Consumer goods (40.0%)
    Capital goods (20.0%)
Top three export countries (% of total, 2017)   Top three import countries (% of total, 2017)
South Korea (16.0%)   China (16.4%)
China (15.2%)   USA (10.2%)
India (10.5%)   UAE (8.7%)

*Most recent data available
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit

Political Highlights

 

Kuwait is a constitutional monarchy. The Emir of Kuwait is the monarch and head of state of Kuwait, which is under the hereditary rule of the Al-Sabah family. The emir, Sheikh Sabah al‑Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, appoints the prime minister and the government, in which the ruling royal family usually holds key ministries. The national legislature is a unicameral National Assembly made up of 50 directly elected members and 15 unelected cabinet ministers. The next legislative election will be due in 2020.

The rivalry between its neighbors, Saudi Arabia and Iran, ongoing boycott of Qatar by the quartet of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, and the presence of jihadi groups remain the key concerns over regional stability. The country is increasing focus on keeping the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) unity intact and developing a closer security ties with its neighbors.

 

Economic Trend

^Estimate * Forecast
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit


Kuwait is one of the richest Arab countries. It is the world’s ninth-largest crude oil producer and its oil reserves are the world’s seventh largest. The oil and gas sector remains the backbone of the economy with hydrocarbon products accounting for around 55% of the total GDP and over 90% of total exports. The GDP contracted in 2017 due to lower oil output on the back of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreement to cut production. Nevertheless, the country maintains a sovereign wealth fund with sizeable foreign assets derived from its current account surpluses, which provides policy space to increase public investment to support growth.

In January 2019, Standard and Poor’s (S&P) affirmed Kuwait’s long-term issuer debt rating at ‘AA’ with a stable outlook. The stable outlook reflected S&P’s expectation that Kuwait’s public and external balance sheets will remain strong over the next two years, supported by its sovereign wealth fund. This should partially mitigate the risks related to the country’s undiversified oil-dependent economy, and rising geopolitical tensions in the region.

Hong Kong – Kuwait Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Kuwait decreased by 5.4% from HK$1,221 million in 2017 to HK$1,155 million in 2018. The top three export categories to Kuwait were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (+3.2%), (2) office machines and automatic data processing machines (-8.2%), and (3) photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies and optical goods; watches and clocks (+15.7%), which represented 71.7% of total exports to Kuwait.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) imposes no restrictions on covering Kuwait buyers. Currently, the insured buyers in Kuwait are mainly small and medium sized companies. For 2018, the number and amount of credit limit applications on Kuwait increased 25% and decreased 1.1% respectively, while insured business increased by 94.1%. Major insured products were furniture, jewellery, and electrical appliances, which represented 42.2% of HKECIC’s insured business on Kuwait. The Corporation’s underwriting experience on Kuwait has been satisfactory, with one claim case reported during the past 12 months (from February 2018 to January 2019), involving furniture.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 13 February 2019

          
Flag and map of Armenia

 
Key Information
Capital   Yerevan
Population   3 million
Area   29,800 sq km
Currency   Armenian Dram (1 AMD = 0.0021 USD as of 31 January 2019)
Official language   Armenian
Form of government   Parliamentary democracy
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 41 out of 190 in 2019 (↑6)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 70 out of 140 in 2018 (↑2)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 92 out of 160 in 2018
Major Merchandise Exports (% of total, 2016*)   Major Merchandise Imports (% of total, 2016*)
Fuels and mining products (35.2%)   Manufactured products (57.9%)
Manufactured products (29.2%)   Fuels and mining products (19.7%)
Agricultural products (23.4%)   Agricultural products (15.6%)
Top three export countries (% of total, 2017)   Top three import countries (% of total, 2017)
EU (27.2%)   Russia (28.7%)
Russia (26.5%)   EU (22.0%)
Switzerland (11.8%)   China (11.7%)

*Most recent data available
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit, World Trade Organization

Political Highlights

 

Armenia was independent from the Soviet Union in 1991. The president is the head of the state elected by parliament for a seven-year term. Incumbent President Armen Sarkissian was elected in March 2018, the first president elected by parliament instead of a popular vote following the 2015 referendum to change the system of government from a presidential to parliamentary. The prime minister is the head of government nominated by a parliamentary majority. Nikol Pashinian was appointed as prime minister in May 2018, and his My Step Alliance (comprising Civil Contract and Mission Party) secured a comfortable 88-seat majority in the 132-seat parliament.

The Nagorno Karabakh territorial dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan began in 1988, when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan and caused a state of ongoing instability. Though an internationally mediated peace process was established, a permanent settlement to the conflict remains elusive.

 

Economic Trend

^ Estimate * Forecast
Source: International Monetary Fund


Armenia has rich deposits of mineral resources including iron and copper, contributing about one third of the country’s exports. The economy relies heavily on mining, agriculture, remittances from overseas workers (mainly from Russia). The country has only two open trade borders (Iran and Georgia) as its borders with Azerbaijan and Turkey are closed as a result of the ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan. The geographic isolation has led to narrow export base for the country and made it dependent on remittances from overseas. The country encountered a slower growth between 2014 and 2016 but has been recovering in the last two years driven by the mining and manufacturing sectors, constructions and higher remittance inflows.

In November 2018, Fitch Ratings has affirmed Armenia's long-term issuer default ratings at 'B+' with a positive outlook, citing the country’s ratings balance a credible monetary policy framework and stronger income per capita and governance indicators relative to peers against high public and external debt and tense relations with some neighboring countries.  

Hong Kong – Armenia Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Armenia increased by 49.2% from HK$148 million in 2017 to HK$220 million in 2018. The top three export categories to Armenia were: (1) non-metallic mineral manufactures (+92.1%), (2) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (+52.4%), and (3) photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies and optical goods, watches and clocks (+13.0%), which represented 79.6% of total exports to Armenia.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) offers coverage on Armenian buyers with payment terms in Irrevocable Letter of Credit (ILC). In the past 12 months (from February 2018 to January 2019), there was no insured business on Armenia.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 1 February 2019

          
Flag and map of Hungary

 
Key Information
Capital   Budapest
Population   9.8 million
Area   93,028 sq km
Currency   Hungarian Forint (1 HUF = 0.0036 USD or 0.0032 EUR as of 1 February 2019)
Official language   Hungarian
Form of government   Parliamentary republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 53 out of 190 in 2019 (↓5)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 48 out of 140 in 2018 (-)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 31 out of 160 in 2018
Major merchandise exports (% of total, 2017)   Major merchandise imports (% of total, 2017)
Machinery & equipment (55.9%)   Machinery & equipment (48.4%)
Manufactured goods (32.2%)   Chemicals (36.4%)
Food, beverage & tobacco (7.2%)   Fuels & energy (7.8%)
Top three export markets (% of total, 2017)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2017)
Germany (27.8%)   Germany (26.9%)
Romania (5.4%)   Austria (6.5%)
Italy (5.1%)   China (6.1%)

Source: Economist Intelligence Unit

Political Highlights

 

Hungary is a parliamentary republic. The president is the head of the state and the prime minister is the head of government. Current President Janos Ader was re-elected by the parliament to another five-year term in March 2017. A centre-right majority government, led by the prime minister Viktor Orban and comprising the Fidesz-Hungarian Civic Union (Fidesz) and its coalition partner Christian Democratic People’s Party (KDNP), together secured 133 of the 199 seats in the 2018 parliamentary election. The government’s economic agenda continues to focus on securing buoyant growth, while reducing vulnerabilities, especially external debt. The next presidential and parliamentary elections are due in 2020.

 

Economic Trend

^Estimate * Forecast
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit


Hungary is a highly export-oriented country, given its attractive location near the German and Austrian markets. It is a hub for many manufacturing bases, back-offices and other support services of the European supply chains. Economic growth in the recent years has been strong supported by buoyant domestic demand and investments from the EU countries. The country’s external debt has also declined due to the substantial external current account surpluses and an active public debt management. In November 2018, Moody's affirmed Hungary's long-term issuer and senior unsecured debt ratings at Baa3 with a stable outlook. The stable outlook reflects Moody's view that risks to Hungary's credit profile are balanced.

Hong Kong – Hungary Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Hungary increased by 10.2% from HK$13.8 billion in 2017 to HK$15.3 billion in 2018. The top three export categories to Hungary were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (-17.4%), (2) electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (+10.3%), and (3) office machines and automatic data processing machines (+95.5%), which represented 87.6% of total exports to Hungary.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) imposes no restrictions on covering Hungary buyers. For 2018, the number and the amount of credit limit applications increased by 11.8% and 302.6% respectively, and insured business increased by 5.5%. Major insured products were electronics, electrical appliances, and watches & clocks, which represented 92.2% of HKECIC’s insured business on Hungary. The Corporation’s underwriting experience on Hungary has been satisfactory, with no payment difficulty or claim payment case reported during the past 12 months (from February 2018 to January 2019).

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 1 February 2019

          
Flag and map of Dominican Republic

 
Key Information
Capital   Santo Domingo
Population   10.3 million
Area   48,670 sq km
Currency   Dominican pesos (1 USD = 50.44 DOP as of 31 January 2019)
Official language   Spanish
Form of government   Representative Democracy
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 102 out of 190 in 2019 (↓3)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 82 out of 140 in 2018 (-)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 87 out of 160 in 2018
Major Merchandise Exports (% of total, 2016*)   Major Merchandise Imports (% of total, 2016*)
Manufactured products (49.2%)   Manufactured products (68.7%)
Agricultural products (21.2%)   Agricultural products (16.4%)
Fuels and mining products (5.5%)   Fuels and mining products (14.9%)
Top three export countries (% of total, 2017)   Top three import countries (% of total, 2017)
USA (50.0%)   USA (44.2%)
Haiti (9.0%)   China (13.1%)
Canada (8.4%)   Mexico (4.6%)

*Most recent data available
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit, World Trade Organization

Political Highlights

 

The Dominican Republic is a representative democracy. The president is the head of state and government directly elected by universal suffrage for a four-year term. The bicameral legislature is composed of a 32-member Senate and a 190-members Chamber of Deputies, whose members of both houses are directly elected for a four-year terms and may be reelected. Presidential, legislative and municipal elections were last held in 2016. Incumbent President Danilo Medina won the re-election in 2016 with a large majority of the votes, and his Partido de la Liberación Dominicana (PLD) party won most legislative seats. The next presidential, congressional and municipal elections will be held in May 2020.

The country’s relations with the US had in the past anchored by strong trade and investment ties and the Dominican Republic-Central America Free-Trade Agreement (DR-CAFTA). However, US President Donald Trump has in recent months threatened to eliminate Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador from keeping preferential access to US markets without disturbing the rest of the agreement. In 2018, the Trump administration pulled its ambassadors out of Dominican Republic after the latter broke diplomatic ties with Taiwan.

 

Economic Trend

* Estimate ^ Forecast  
Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF)


The Dominican Republic has enjoyed strong economic growth in recent years and a significant reduction in poverty, although the country remains vulnerable to natural disasters. The IMF estimated the country’s 2018 growth to reach 6.4% driven by healthy growth in exports, remittances and tourism revenue. This is largely thanks to strong dynamics in the US economy, the Dominican Republic’s key trading partner. However, growth for 2019 is forecast to soften on easing momentum in the US, tighter global financial conditions and vulnerability to severe weather conditions.

Hong Kong – Dominican Republic Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Dominican Republic increased by 8.4% from HK$801 million in 2017 to HK$869 million in 2018. The top three export categories to Dominican Republic were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (+18.9%), (2) office machines and automatic data processing machines (-3.8%), and (3) articles of apparel and clothing accessories (+14.1%), which represented 76.1% of total exports to Dominican Republic.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) imposes no restriction on covering Dominican Republic buyers. In the past 12 months (from February 2018 to January 2019), there was no claim payment or payment difficult case reported against Dominican Republic buyers.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 1 February 2019

          
Flag and map of Suriname

 
Key Information
Capital   Paramaribo
Population   0.57 million
Area   163,820 sq km
Currency   Suriname dollar (1 USD = 7.456 SRD as of 31 January 2019)
Official language   Dutch
Form of government   Presidential Republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 165 out of 190 in 2019 (-)
Major Merchandise Exports (% of total, 2016*)   Major Merchandise Imports (% of total, 2016*)
Fuels and mining products (8.4%)   Manufactured products (59.5%)
Agricultural products (7.5%)   Fuels and mining products (18.4%)
Manufactured products (4.8%)   Agricultural products (15.7%)
Top three export countries (% of total, 2017)   Top three import countries (% of total, 2017)
Switzerland (38.6%)   USA (35.0%)
Hong Kong (22.2%)   Netherlands (17.0%)
Belgium (10.2%)   Trinidad and Tobago (13.0%)

*Most recent data available
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit
, World Trade Organization

Political Highlights

 

Suriname, once known as Dutch Guiana, is one of South America's smallest countries. It was independent from the Netherlands in 1975. The country is a presidential republic with the president as the head of state and head of government, who is elected by the parliament for a five-year term. Former military leader Desire Bouterse was elected to his second term as president in July 2015 after his National Democratic Party (NDP) won a slim majority in parliament. He retains broad popularity in the country, and it is widely expected that he will win a third term in 2020. The legislature is the 51-seats unicameral National Assembly elected for a five-year term by direct universal suffrage. The next legislative election will take place in May 2020.

 

Economic Trend

* Estimate ^ Forecast 
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit (IMF)


The fall in gold and oil prices resulted a deep recession for the country in 2015-16 with cumulative GDP contracted by 9%. The economy has stabilized in recent years due to the recovery of commodity prices and the launch of the Merian gold mine in late 2016, which helped return growth to positive territory since 2017. Recent indicators point to further improvements in economic activity with real GDP growth estimated at 2% in 2018, followed by a gradual acceleration to 3% over the medium term, according to the IMF. Nonetheless, the economy remains heavily dependent on the mineral sector, and faces challenges including slow pace of reforms, rising public debt and large fiscal deficits.

Hong Kong – Suiname Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Suriname increased by 1.1% from HK$41.3 million in 2017 to HK$41.8 million in 2018. The top three export categories to Suriname were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (-14.1%), (2) medicinal and pharmaceutical products (+171.6%), and (3) vegetables and fruit (+25.9%), which represented 63.0% of total exports to Suriname.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) imposes no restriction on covering Suriname buyers. In the past 12 months (from January to December 2018), there was no insured business on Suriname.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 31 January 2019

           
Flag and map of Yemen

 
Key Information
Capital   Sanaa
Population   25.1 million
Area   527,968 sq km
Currency   Yemeni riyal (1 USD = 250.298 YER as of 28 January 2019)
Official language   Arabic
Form of government   Semi-presidential republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 187 out of 190 in 2019 (↓1)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 139 out of 140 in 2018 (↓2)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 140 out of 160 in 2018
Major merchandise exports (% of total, 2016*)   Major merchandise imports (% of total, 2016*)
Fuels and mining products (54.7%)   Manufactured goods (48.9%)
Agricultural products (33.8%)   Agricultural products (45.2%)
Manufactured goods (11.0%)   Fuels and mining products (1.5%)

* Most recent data available
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), World Trade Organization

Political Highlights

 

Yemen is the second most populous country in the Arabian Peninsula. It emerged as a republic in 1990 after Yemen Arab Republic (North Yemen) and the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (South Yemen) merged. The country has been facing an unprecedented humanitarian, social and economic crisis due to the on-going civil war. The country is currently loosely split between two governments, one led by Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, and the other led by the Houthis. Elections are long overdue and the last parliamentary election was held in 2003. According to EIU, plans for elections and another attempt at drafting a constitution appear unlikely in the long term as the war rages on.

 

Economic Trend

*Estimate ^Forecast
Source: International Monetary Fund


Yemen has been listed on the Least Developed Countries by the United Nations since 1971. The country has been highly dependent on its oil and gas resources, which contributed about 25% of GDP and 65% of government revenues. However, the ongoing civil war has devastated the country, creating severe humanitarian, social and economic crisis. Economic activity is estimated to have contracted by about 50% since 2014, according to the World Bank. Cases of malnutrition and severe food insecurity have spiked as the fight for control over strategic port facilities has interrupted critical imports. Economic growth is vulnerable and unsustainable as the country relies heavily on donor support from international governments and organisations. Separately, the country will continue to run a high current account deficit in coming years on account of a weak export base, a depreciating currency and an anticipated decrease in foreign aids
.

 

Hong Kong – Yemen Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Yemen decreased by 62.4% from HK$12 million in 2017 to HK$5 million in 2018. The top three export categories to Yemen were: (1) electrical machinery, apparatus & appliances and electrical parts thereof (+91.6%), (2) professional, scientific and controlling instruments and apparatus (-19.6%), and (3) chemical materials and products (+160.3%), which represented 71.7% of total exports to Yemen.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) offers coverage on Yemeni buyers with payment terms in Irrevocable Letter of Credit (ILC). In the past 12 months (from January 2018 to December 2018), there was no insured business on Yemen.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 28 January 2019

     
Flag and map of Kazakhstan

 
Key Information
Capital   Astana
Population   18.7 million
Area   2,724,900 sq km
Currency   Kazakhstani Tenge (1 KZT = 0.0026 USD as of 24 January 2019)
Official language   Kazakh, Russian
Form of government   Presidential republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 28 out of 190 in 2019 (↑8)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 59 out of 140 in 2018 (-)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 71 out of 160 in 2018
Major merchandise exports (% of total, 2017)   Major merchandise imports (% of total, 2017)
Mineral products (68.6%)   Machinery & equipment (37.7%)
Metals (18.1%)   Chemicals (16.7%)
Chemicals (5.1%)   Metals (11.7%)
Top three export markets (% of total, 2017)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2017)
Italy (17.9%)   Russia (38.3%)
China (11.9%)   China (15.9%)
Netherlands (9.8%)   Germany (5.0%)

Source: Economist Intelligence Unit

Political Highlights

 

Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world by land area. It declared independence following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. It is a presidential republic with the president as head of the state elected by universal suffrage. Nursultan Nazarbayev has been the president since the country’s independence, as the constitution allows him to seek re-election for unlimited times. Prime minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev serves as the head of government appointed by the president, while the power remains strongly vested in the president. The country adopts a bicameral legislature consisting of the 107-seat Mazhilis (lower house) and the 47-seat Senate (upper house). The next parliamentary election will be due in late 2019 or early 2020, and presidential election in 2020.

 

Economic Trend

^ Estimates * Forecasts
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit


Kazakhstan is the largest economy in Central Asia but the country is constrained by its landlocked and distances to global market and sea ports. The country possesses vast natural resources including oil, other minerals and metals that the economy is highly influenced by the performance in these sectors. The move to a floating exchange-rate regime in 2015 led to a sharp depreciation of the Kazakhstani tenge against the US dollar and surge in consumer prices. After two years of subdued growth, economic activity rebounded in 2017 and 2018 supported by higher of oil prices and production, as well as increased trade and manufacturing. The government continued to invest in regional connectivity and infrastructure to support further economic growth. The government is also an enthusiastic participant in China's Belt and Road Initiative, which would release further funds for infrastructure upgrades and new crossborder connections.

Hong Kong – Kazakhstan Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Kazakhstan increased by 41% from HK$1,134 million in 2017 to HK$1,604 million in 2018. The top three export categories to Kazakhstan were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (+44.0%), (2) office machines and automatic data processing machines (+81.4%), and (3) electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (-12.0%), which represented 94.3% of total exports to Kazakhstan.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) imposes no restrictions on covering Kazakhstan buyers. In the past 12 months (from Jan 2018 to Dec 2018), there was no insured business on Kazakhstan.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 24 January 2019

           
Flag and map of Tanzanian

 
Key Information
Capital   Dodoma
Population   55.6 million
Area   883,749 sq km
Currency   Tanzanian Shilling (1 USD= 2,309.87 TZS as of 22 January 2019)
Official language   Swahili, English
Form of government   Republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 144 out of 190 in 2019 (↓7)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 116 out of 138 in 2018 (↓2)
 
Major Merchandise Exports (% of total, 2016*)   Major Merchandise Imports (% of total, 2016*)
Agricultural products (37.1%)   Manufactured products (57.0%)
Manufactured products (15.0%)   Fuel and mining products (16.0%)
Fuel and mining products (7.6%)   Agricultural products (10.0%)
Top three export markets (% of total, 2017)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2017)
India (23.0%)   China (17.3%)
South Africa (17.2%)   India (16.5%)
Kenya (8.2%)   UAE (9.3%)

*Most recent data available
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit, World Trade Organisation

Political Highlights

 

Tanzania was formed as a sovereign state in 1964 through the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar. Tanganyika (mainland) covers more than 99% of the combined territories’ total area. It is a republic with an executive president elected by universal suffrage every five years. The incumbent president John Magufuli is widely expected to win re-election in 2020, as the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party is seen extending its firm grip of power. The unicameral legislature, the National Assembly, comprising of 295 members elected by universal suffrage every five years. Mainland legislative and presidential elections were last held in October 2015, and the next elections are scheduled for 2020. Meanwhile, Zanzibar is a semi-autonomous region of Tanzania and has its own President and a House of Representatives.

 

Economic Trend

* Forecast ^ Estimate
Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF)


Tanzania has sustained relatively high economic growth over the last decade, mainly supported by expansion in both the industrial and agriculture sectors. However, the country’s economic competitiveness remained constrained by a number of factors, as reflected in the relatively low ranking in the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index. According to WEF’s latest published competitiveness report, the most problematic factors for doing business include access to finance, tax rates, and inadequate supply of infrastructure. Meanwhile, Tanzania's average income remains very low, denoting limited capacity for households to absorb any economic and income shock. In March 2018, Moody's assigned first-time local and foreign currency issuer ratings of B1 to the Government of Tanzania with a negative outlook.

Hong Kong – Tanzania Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Tanzania decreased by 7.7% from HK$759 million in 2016 to HK$700 million in 2017. The top three export categories to Tanzania were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (-7.3%), (2) office machines and automatic data processing machines (+6.5%), and (3) electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (+6.5%), which represented 96.4% of total exports to Tanzania.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) offers coverage on Tanzanian buyers with payment terms in Irrevocable Letter of Credit (ILC). In the past 12 months (from January 2018 to December 2018), there was no insured business on Tanzania.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 22 January 2019

             
Flag and map of Poland

 
Key Information
Capital   Warsaw
Population   38.3 million
Area   311,889 sq km
Currency   Polish Zloty (1 PLN = 0.265665 USD as of 18 January 2019)
Official language   Polish
Form of government   Parliamentary republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 33 out of 190 in 2019 (↓6)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 37 out of 140 in 2018 (-)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 28 out of 160 in 2018
Major merchandise exports (% of total, 2017)   Major merchandise imports (% of total, 2017)
Machinery & transport equipment (37.1%)   Machinery & transport equipment (34.7%)
Manufactured goods (18.8%)   Manufactured goods (17.7%)
Others (16.7%)   Others (14.6%)
Top three export markets (% of total, 2017)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2017)
Germany (27.7%)   Germany (28.2%)
Czech Republic (6.5%)   China (8.1%)
UK (6.4%)   Russia (6.4%)

Source: Economist Intelligence Unit

Political Highlights

 

Poland is a presidential republic in Central Europe. The president, directly elected by universal suffrage for a five-year term, is the head of state and supreme commander of the armed forces. The president appoints the prime minister, who leads the cabinet responsible for devising government decision and implementing government policies. The country adopts a bicameral legislature consisting of a 100-seat Senate (upper house) and a 460-seat Sejm (lower house). Currently, the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS) has secured a majority in the parliament. The next parliamentary and presidential elections are due in late 2019 and mid-2020 respectively. Incumbent President Andrzej Duda is likely to run for re-election in 2020.

 

Economic Trend

*Estimate ^Forecast
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit


The Polish economy has continued to perform strongly in recent years, fueled by accommodative monetary and fiscal policies, substantial European Union’s (EU) funding and strong wage growth. Real GDP growth in 2018 was estimated to grow slightly, but the upswing appears to have recently peaked. Growth in the medium term is projected to moderate, as major trading-partners’ demand slows and potential output is increasingly held back by labour shortage amid a tight labour force.

The country registered a small current surplus in 2017, but is expected to swing back into deficit in 2018 and subsequent years as robust household consumption and higher investment push up import costs. In October 2018, Standard & Poor’s raised its long-term foreign currency sovereign credit rating on Poland to 'A-' from 'BBB+' with a stable outlook. The upgrade reflects the country’s strong track record of balanced economic growth and fiscal prudence, as well as the diversity and competitiveness of its economy.
 

Hong Kong – Poland Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Poland increased by 32.3% from HK$9.96 billion in 2017 to HK$13.18 billion in 2018. The top three export categories to Poland were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (+27.1%), (2) electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (+1.5%) and (3) office machines and automatic data processing machines (+36.3%), which represented 69.4% of total exports to Poland.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) imposes no restrictions on covering buyers in Poland. For 2018, the number and amount of credit limit applications decreased by 7.3% and 31.4% respectively, and insured business decreased by 20.1%. Major insured products were electronics, metallic products and electrical appliances, which represented 54.8% of HKECIC’s insured business on Poland. The Corporation’s underwriting experience on Poland has been satisfactory, with one payment difficulty case reported in the past 12 months (January to December 2018).

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 18 January 2019

       
Flag and map of Thailand

 
Key Information
Capital   Wellington
Population   4.7 million
Area   270,534 sq km
Currency   New Zealand Dollar (1 NZD = 0.6812 USD as of 16 January 2019)
Official language   English
Form of government   Constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 1 out of 190 in 2019 (-)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 18 out of 140 in 2018 (↓2)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 15 out of 160 in 2018
Major merchandise exports (% of total, 2017)   Major merchandise imports (% of total, 2017)
Dairy products (26.1%)   Machinery & electrical equipment (22.8%)
Meat products (12.4%)   Transport equipment (18.1%)
Forestry products (8.7%)   Mineral fuels (9.4%)
Top three export markets (% of total, 2017)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2017)
China (22.3%)   China (18.7%)
Australia (16.6%)   Australia (12.2%)
USA (9.8%)   USA (10.8%)

Source: Economist Intelligence Unit

Political Highlights

 

New Zealand is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, with Queen Elizabeth II titular head of state, represented in the country by the Governor-General. The legislative is a unicameral House of Representatives with 120 members, elected for a three-year term using mixed-member proportional representation. Currently, the government is led by the prime minister and Labour Party’s leader, Jacinda Ardern, who has been in power since October 2017. The country enjoys a stable political environment and ranks highly internationally for its governmental transparency and low levels of corruption. The next general election is due in November 2020.

 

New Zealand maintains close ties with Australia, and their relationship is formally underpinned by the Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement signed in 1983. Meanwhile, New Zealand plays an active role in Pacific affairs. It has constitutional ties with the Pacific territories of Niue, the Cook Islands and Tokelau.
 

Economic Trend

*Estimate ^Forecast
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit


New Zealand’s economy has enjoyed a solid expansion since 2011, driven by reconstruction spending after the 2011 and 2016 earthquakes, an accommodative monetary policy, a persistent net migration wave and strong external demand from Asia. However, economic growth has decelerated to 0.3% quarter-on-quarter in Q3 2018, the slowest in nearly five years, tempered by weaker construction activity and food manufacturing. It is widely expected that the central bank would keep its main policy rate on hold to support growth.

 

The island country is a strong proponent of trade liberalisation and has numerous free trade agreements (FTA), largely with its Asia-Pacific neighbours. These include FTAs with Australia, China, Hong Kong, ASEAN, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Thailand. New Zealand was also the first developed western nation to join the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

 

Hong Kong – New Zealand Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to New Zealand increased by 24.1% from HK$4,170 million in 2017 to HK$5,175 million in 2018. The top three export categories to New Zealand were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (+12.8%), (2) power generating machinery and equipment (+3144.6%) and (3) office machines and automatic data processing machines (+0.4%), which represented 56.3% of total exports to New Zealand.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) imposes no restrictions on covering buyers in New Zealand. For 2018, the number and amount of credit limit applications decreased by 13.7% and 46.9% respectively, while insured business increased by 4.5%. Major insured products were clothing, printed matters and food, which represented 66.3% of HKECIC’s insured business on New Zealand. The Corporation’s underwriting experience on New Zealand has been satisfactory, with one claim payment case reported in the past 12 months (January to December 2018).

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 16 January 2019

       
Flag and map of Uzbekistan

 
Key Information
Capital   Tashkent
Population   30.0 million
Area   447,400 sq km
Currency   Uzbekistan Som (1 USD = 8,355 UZS as of 15 January 2019)
Official language   Uzbek
Form of government   Presidential republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 76 out of 190 in 2019 (↓2)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 99 out of 160 in 2018
 
Top three export markets (% of total, 2017)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2017)
Switzerland (38.2%)   China (23.9%)
China (15.2%)   Russia (22.7%)
Russia (10.6%)   Kazakhstan (10.8%)

Source: Economist Intelligence Unit

Political Highlights

 

Republic of Uzbekistan (Uzbekistan) emerged as an independent country in 1991 following the breakup of the Soviet Union. It is a presidential republic with the president as head of the state elected by universal suffrage. After 25 years of ruling by first president Islom Karimov, former Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev won a landslide victory in the presidential election held in 2016. Since coming to power in 2016, Mirziyoyev has launched a number of economic and institutional reforms to open up the economy and support future growth. Prime minister, Abdulla Aripov, is the head of government nominated by parliament on the recommendation of president, while the power remains strongly vested in the president. The country adopts a bicameral legislature consisting Legislative Chamber (the lower house) with 135 members and Senate (the upper house) with 100 members. The next parliamentary election will be due in late 2019 or early 2020.

 

Economic Trend

Source: International Monetary Fund


Uzbekistan is based primarily on agriculture, natural resource extraction, and remittances from workers abroad (mainly Russia). The country has initiated a comprehensive reform program to open and liberalize the economy in recent years. The most significant was the liberalization of the foreign exchange market in Sep 2017, which has led the exchange rate depreciated by about 50% causing higher inflation and lower economic growth in 2017-2018. Meanwhile, the reform is expected to improve the business environment and spur foreign investment over time. Growth in 2019 is projected to remain steady at about 5% supported by higher commodity prices and major trading partner demand, according to the IMF. However, despite steady growth, the country is still starting from a low base and GDP per capita remains low.

Hong Kong – Uzbekistan Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Uzbekistan decreased by 51.3% from HK$144 million in 2016 to HK$70 million in 2017. The top three export categories to Uzbekistan were: (1) office machines and automatic data processing machines (+57.7%), (2) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (-66.7%), and (3) electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (-37.6%), which represented 83.6% of total exports to Uzbekistan.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) offers coverage on Uzbekistani buyers with payment terms in Irrevocable Letter of Credit (ILC).  In the past 12 months (from January 2018 to December 2018), there was no insured business on Uzbekistan.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 15 January 2019

              
Flag and map of Jordan

 
Key Information
Capital   Amman
Population   10.5 million
Area   89,342 sq km
Currency   Jordanian dinar (pegged to the US dollar at 1 USD = 0.71 JOD)
Official language   Arabic
Form of government   Constitutional monarchy
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 104 out of 190 in 2019 (↓1)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 73 out of 140 in 2018 (↓2)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 84 out of 160 in 2018
Major merchandise exports (% of total, 2017)   Major merchandise imports (% of total, 2017)
Manufactured goods (32.2%)   Machinery & transport equipment (27.2%)
Chemicals (20.2%)   Food & live animals (16.6%)
Food & live animals (13.6%)   Manufactured goods (14.3%)
Top three export markets (% of total, 2017)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2017)
USA (24.9%)   China (13.5%)
Saudi Arabia (12.8%)   Saudi Arabia (13.5%)
India (8.2%)    USA (9.8%)

Source: Economist Intelligence Unit

Political Highlights

 

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan (“Jordan”) is a constitutional monarchy. King Abdullah ibn Hussein al-Hashemi is the ultimate decision-making authority and has the power to dissolve parliament and appoint the prime minister. The national legislature is a bicameral National Assembly with a directly elected Chamber of Deputies of 130 members and a Senate of 75 members appointed by the king. The next election for the Chamber of Deputies will be due in 2020.

According to the United Nations, refugees accounted for nearly 10% of Jordan’s population, mainly from Syria, Palestinian and Iraq, which placed massive pressure on Jordan’s overstretched resources. In June 2018, to defuse the largest protest in the year, the king replaced the prime minister Hani Mulki by Omar al-Razzaz, a former World Bank economist with an aim to implement some critical economic reforms and maintain political stability. In January 2019, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the IMF expressed that international donor support is more important than ever to help Jordan preserve economic and social stability as the country is still facing difficult regional conditions, including hosting a large number of refugees.

 

Economic Trend

^ Estimate * Forecasts
Source: International Monetary Fund


With few natural resources and a small industrial base, Jordan is heavily dependent on external aid as well as remittances from expatriate workers. The country is dependent on oil imports which had led to a large current account deficit. Economic growth has been hindered by the long-standing conflict between Israel and the Palestine as well as the civil war in Syria and violence in Iraq, which caused serious security and logistical challenges that negatively impacted the trade and tourism sectors. In June 2018, the UAE, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia extended a US$2.5 billion aid package to Jordan to help stabilize its economy amid record debt levels and unemployment. In November 2018, Moody’s has affirmed Jordan's long-term issuer at B1 and maintained the stable outlook. The stable outlook reflects Moody's view that the planned fiscal reforms will set the government's elevated debt-to-GDP ratio on a gradually declining path in the next several years..

Hong Kong – Jordan Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Jordan increased by 23% from HK$1,448 million in 2016 to HK$1,782 million in 2017. The top three export categories to Jordan were: (1) telecommunications, audio & video equipment (+45.4%), (2) textile yarn, fabrics, made-up articles, and related products (+11.6%), and (3) office machines and automatic data processing machines (+1.8%), which represented 78.2% of total exports to Jordan.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) imposes no restrictions on covering Jordan buyers. In the past 12 months (from January 2018 to December 2018), there was no claim payment or payment difficulty case reported.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 14 January 2019

            
Flag and map of Seychelles

 
Key Information
Capital   Victoria
Population   94,737
Area   455 sq km
Currency   Seychelles Rupee (1 USD = 13.6546 SCR as of 11 January 2019)
Official language   Creole, English, French
Form of government   Unitary Republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 96 out of 190 in 2019 (↓1)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 86 out of 140 in 2018 (↓3)
Major Merchandise Exports (% of total, 2016*)   Major Merchandise Imports (% of total, 2016*)
Agricultural products (63.3%)   Manufactured products (50.6%)
Fuels and mining products (27.5%)   Agricultural products (30.3%)
Manufactured products (9.0%)   Fuels and mining products (19.0%)
Top three export markets (% of total, 2017)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2017)
France (26.2%)   UAE (38.0%)
UAE (22.6%)   France (18.8%)
UK (15.1%)   Spain (11.4%)

*Most recent data available
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit, World Trade Organisation

Political Highlights

 

Seychelles was independent from the UK in 1976 and became a member country of The Commonwealth. It has a unicameral parliament, the National Assembly, comprising up to 35 seats, 25 of which are elected by universal suffrage, and 10 seats on the basis of proportional representation. The president, elected by universal suffrage, is empowered by the 1993 constitution to rule by decree. The former president, James Michel, who was elected to a third term in December 2015, resigned in September 2016. Danny Faure, the former vice-president, will complete the remainder of his five-year term. The next presidential and legislative elections are due in 2020 and 2021 respectively.

 

Economic Trend

^ Estimate * Forecasts
Source: International Monetary Fund


Seychelles lies northeast of Madagascar, an archipelago of 115 islands with around 95,000 inhabitants, three-quarters of whom live on the main island of Mahé. The country has the highest GDP per capita in Africa, but inequality remains significant. The economy has benefited from continued robust growth in tourist arrivals, which rose by 15.5% in 2017 and 8% for the first eight months of 2018. Other real activity indicators have also been strong, especially in the services sectors, which accounts for close to three-quarters of the economy. However, according to the IMF, growth is projected to moderate to around 3% during 2018‒20, due to the tight monetary policy stance, the moderation of tourism sector growth, and the delay on several large hotel construction projects.

Hong Kong – Seychelles Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Seychelles increased by 75.3% from HK$16.7 million in 2017 to HK$29.3 million in 2018. The top three export categories to Seychelles were: (1) electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (+368.3%), (2) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (-16.5%), and (3) office machines and automatic data processing machines (+892.7%), which represented 57.4% of total exports to Seychelles.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) imposes no restriction on covering Seychelles buyers. In the past 12 months (from January to December 2018), there was no claim payment or payment difficulty case reported.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 11 January 2019

            
Flag and map of Ecuador

 
Key Information
Capital   Quito
Population   16.5 million
Area   283,561 sq km
Currency   US Dollar
Official language   Spanish
Form of government   Presidential republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 123 out of 190 in 2019 (↓5)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 86 out of 140 in 2018 (↓3)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 62 out of 160 in 2018
Major merchandise exports (% of total, 2017)   Major merchandise imports (% of total, 2017)
Oil & oil products (36.2%)   Raw materials (30.5%)
Shrimp (17.0%)   Capital goods (24.5%)
Banana & plantain (16.0%)   Fuel & lubricants (20.2%)
Top three export markets (% of total, 2017)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2017)
USA (31.5%)   USA (22.6%)
Vietnam (7.6%)   China (15.3%)
Peru (6.7%)   Colombia (8.6%)

Source: Economist Intelligence Unit

Political Highlights

 

Ecuador is a presidential republic with the president as both the head of state and head of government elected for a four-year term. Lenin Moreno from the ruling Alianza Pais (AP) was elected as the country’s president in Apr 2017 after a decade of ruling by Rafael Correa. The legislature is a unicameral National Assembly with 137 seats elected in 24 provincial constituencies for a four-year term. In May and Dec 2018, Moreno announced a cabinet reshuffle with an aim for significant policy shifts apart from Correa, including the possibility of a more attractive business environment for foreign investors. The next presidential and legislative elections are due in February 2021.

 

Economic Trend

^ Estimate * Forecasts
Source: International Monetary Fund


Ecuador is dependent on its petroleum resource, which accounted for about a third of its total export earnings. Apart from oil, the country’s major export products include bananas, shrimp, coffee, cut flowers and fish etc. The country returned to a growth of 2.4% in 2017 after it has been hit by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake in 2016, which caused widespread of damages. The recovery of oil prices also helped supporting its growth. In 2018, Moreno’s government has strengthened fiscal institutions and re-established a competitive private-sector driven economy. However, the country encountered a declining oil production in its mature fields. The government planned to lift output by bringing the 1.7 billion barrels in the Ishpingo, Tambococha and Tiputini (ITT) field into production, but progress on this front has been slow as the reserves are located in the Amazon rainforest, which requires the grant of an environmental permit.

Hong Kong – Ecuador Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Ecuador decreased by 6% from HK$1.06 billion in 2016 to HK$1 billion in 2017. The top three export categories to Ecuador were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (-6.4%), (2) electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (-21.0%), and (3) office machines and automatic data processing machines (+2.8%), which represented 84.7% of total exports to Ecuador.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) imposes no restrictions on covering Ecuador buyers. In the past 12 months (from January 2018 to December 2018), there was no claim payment or payment difficulty case reported against Ecuador buyers.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 11 January 2019

              
Flag and map of Oman

 
Key Information
Capital   Muscat
Population   4.6 million
Area   309,500 sq km
Currency   Omani Rial (pegged to the US dollar at 1 USD = 0.3845 OMR)
Official language   Arabic
Form of government   Monarchy
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 78 out of 190 in 2019 (↓7)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 62 out of 140 in 2018 (↑15)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 43 out of 160 in 2018
Major merchandise exports (% of total, 2016*)   Major merchandise imports (% of total, 2016*)
Fuels and mining products (67.0%)   Manufactured goods (56.6%)
Manufactured goods (17.1%)   Agricultural products (16.0%)
Agricultural products (5.8%)   Fuels and mining products (13.8%)
Top three export markets (% of total, 2017)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2017)
China (50.0%)   United Arab Emirates (38.9%)
United Arab Emirates (8.0%)   China (5.9%)
Taiwan (5.9%)   India (5.2%)

* Most recent year for which data are available
Sources: Economist Intelligence Unit, the World Trade Organization

Political Highlights

 

Oman is an absolute monarchy wherein the Sultan of Oman is both the head of state and the head of government. Currently, the country’s political landscape is relatively stable owing to the well-entrenched autocracy under the rule of Qaboos bin Said al-Said since 1970. On the diplomatic front, Oman maintains good relationships with traditional western allies and some countries in the Middle East, and acts as a mediator between opposing sides. Meanwhile, Oman also maintains strong economic ties with China, an important trading partner and a major source of foreign direct investment.

 

Economic Trend

*Estimate ^Forecast
Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF)


Oman’s economy is based primarily on the hydrocarbon sector, which generates more than 60% of its export earnings and one-third of government revenue. Against the backdrop of lower oil price environment, the country has posted double-digit fiscal and current account deficits over the past few years. Nevertheless, overall economic growth is expected to pick up in 2019, owing to the recovering oil and gas output.


For economic diversification, the authorities have launched a number of pro-business reforms to attract foreign investment, including allowing fully foreign ownership of companies and implementing the foreign direct investment law. With government’s efforts and the planned completion of major infrastructural projects, Oman’s non-hydrocarbon growth is expected to grow gradually over the medium term, according to the IMF. In December 2018, credit rating agency Fitch Ratings has downgraded Oman’s long-term issuer default rating to ‘BB+’ from ‘BBB-‘ with a stable outlook, citing fiscal challenges to the oil producer from volatile crude prices.
 

Hong Kong – Oman Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Oman increased by 9.1% from HK$993 million in 2016 to HK$1,083 million in 2017. The top three export categories to Oman were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (-4.2%), (2) power generating machinery and equipment (-24.7%), and (3) office machines and automatic data processing machines (-26.9%), which represented 66.1% of total exports to Oman.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) imposes no restrictions on covering Omani buyers. For 2018, the number and the amount of credit limit applications on Oman was unchanged and increased by 86.8% respectively, while insured business decreased by 18.5%. The Corporation’s underwriting experience on Oman has been satisfactory, with no payment difficulty or claim payment case reported during the past 12 months (from January 2018 to December 2018).

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 8 January 2019

 

       
Flag and map of Togo

 
Key Information
Capital   Lome
Population   7.8 million
Area   56,785 sq km
Currency   West African CFA franc (fixed to the Euro at 1 EUR = 655.957 XOF)
Official language   French
Form of government   Presidential Republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 137 out of 190 in 2019 (↑19)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 118 out of 160 in 2018
Major merchandise exports (% of total, 2016*)   Major merchandise imports (% of total, 2016*)
Phosphates (7.8%)   Capital goods (18.4%)
Cotton (4.9%)   Food (10.8%)
Cement & clinker (4.5%)   Petroleum products (10.7%)
Top three export markets (% of total, 2017)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2017)
Burkina Faso (12.9%)   China (20.9%)
Benin (10.3%)   France (10.9%)
Niger (7.4%)   Japan (5.1%)

*Most recent available data
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit

Political Highlights

 

Located in the western Africa, Togo gained independence from France in 1960. It is a presidential republic where the president, elected by universal suffrage for a five-year team, is both the Head of State and Chief of Government. The president appoints all key ministers, including the prime minister, who also serves for a five-year term. Currently, political power rests mainly with president Faure Gnassingbé, who has been in power since 2005 and was re-elected in 2010 and 2015. The legislature is the unicameral National Assembly composing of 91 members. In the legislative election held in December 2018, the ruling Union for the Republic (UNIR) won 59 seats in the parliament.

 

Economic Trend

*Estimate ^Forecast
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit


Togo is heavily dependent on its agricultural and extractive industries, with the agriculture alone accounting for about 50% of GDP and employing more than half of the country’s workforce. The economy is vulnerable to the occurrence of natural hazards, including droughts and water pollution. The country has been listed on the Least Developed Countries (LDC) by the United Nation (UN) since 1982. Economic growth slowed in 2017, reflecting the escalating political tension and fiscal consolidation, while is projected to accelerate slightly in 2018 on increasing exports of phosphate and cotton, which are the country’s main export commodities.


The country is supported by a three-year extended credit facility from the IMF approved in May 2017, which aimed to reduce the overall fiscal deficit substantially to ensure long-term debt and external sustainability. The IMF disbursed US$34.9 million to Togo in December 2018, bringing total disbursements under the arrangement to US$139.5 million.
 

 

Hong Kong – Togo Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Togo increased by 29.8% from HK$1.47 billion in 2016 to HK$1.90 billion in 2017. The top three export categories to Togo were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (+30.2%), (2) electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances and electrical parts thereof (+735.4%) and (3) petroleum, petroleum products and related materials, which represented 99.6% of total exports to Togo.

 

EHKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) imposes no restrictions on covering Togolese buyers. In the past 12 months (from January to December 2018), there was no insured business on Togo.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 7 January 2019

       
Flag and map of Portugal

 
Key Information
Capital   Lisbon
Population   10.3 million
Area   91,906 sq km
Currency   Euro (1 USD = 0. 872805 EUR as of 28 December 2018)
Official language   Portuguese
Form of government   Semi-presidential republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 34 out of 190 in 2019 (↓5)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 34 out of 140 in 2018 (↑8)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 23 out of 160 in 2018
Major merchandise exports (% of total, 2017)   Major merchandise imports (% of total, 2017)
Machinery and transport equipment (27.2%)   Machinery & transport equipment (30.7)
Foods, drinks and tobacco (10.8%)   Chemicals and related products (13.3%)
Chemicals and related products (8.8%)   Foods, drinks and tobacco (13.0%)
Top three export markets (% of total, 2017)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2017)
Spain (25.9%)   Spain (33.1%)
France (12.6%)   Germany (13.4%)
Germany (11.7%)    France (7.7%)

Source: Economist Intelligence Unit

Political Highlights

 

Portugal is a semi-presidential republic wherein the president is the chief of state and the prime minister is the head of the government. The country adopts a unicameral legislature made up of a 230-seat parliament, with members elected for a four-year term. Since the last general election held in late 2015, Portugal has been governed by a minority centre-left Socialist Party (PS) administration headed by António Costa, the prime minister. The minority government is backed by the Left Bloc (BE), the Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) and the Greens (PEV). The next legislative election is due in October 2019. Externally, Portugal's membership of the European Union (EU), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and United Nations (UN) will continue to be the mainstays of the country’s foreign relations.

 

Economic Trend

* Estimate ^ Forecast
Source: International Monetary Fund


The Portuguese economy performed strongly in 2017, thanks to a surge in private consumption and fixed investment. While rising energy prices have pushed up consumer prices, core inflation remains subdued. Economic growth is expected to ease in 2018 from its recent cyclical peak and gradually moderate over the medium term. Nevertheless, investment and exports should remain important drivers of growth.

The current account has been in surplus since 2013, reflecting the implementation of austerity measures in exchange for the financial bailout loan provided by the European Union (EU), European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in May 2011. However, the current account balance is expected to turn negative in 2018 owing to strong import demand, according to the IMF. In December 2018, Portuguese finance minister announced that Portugal has repaid remaining EUR 4.7 billion of loans to the IMF after early repayments. The minister also said that the government maintains the objectives for 2018 and 2019 to reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio to 121.2% and 118.5%, respectively.

Hong Kong – Portugal Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Portugal increased by 10.1% from HK$2,412 million in 2016 to HK$2,655 million in 2017. The top three export categories to Portugal were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (-13.1%), (2) electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances and electrical parts thereof (+33.4%), and (3) power generating machinery and equipment (+249.8%), which represented 72.2% of total exports to Portugal.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

he Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) imposes no restrictions on covering buyers in Portugal. For 2017, the number and amount of credit limit applications increased by 13.3% and 19.5% respectively, and insured business increased by 4.8%. Major insured products were metallic products, furniture and electronics, which represented 73.3% of HKECIC’s insured business on Portugal. The Corporation’s underwriting experience on Portugal has been satisfactory, with one payment difficulty case reported in the past 12 months (December 2017 to November 2018).

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 28 December 2018

              
Flag and map of Malta

 
Key Information
Capital   Valletta
Population   0.4 million
Area   316 sq km
Currency   Euro (1 EUR = 1.146 USD as of 21 December 2018)
Official language   Maltese and English
Form of government   Unitary republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 84 out of 190 in 2018/19 (-)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 36 out of 140 in 2018 (-)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 69 out of 160 in 2018
Major merchandise exports (% of total, 2017)   Major merchandise imports (% of total, 2017)
Fuel (32.8%)   Machinery & transport equipment (49.5%)
Machinery & transport equipment (32.0%)   Fuels (37.6%)
Chemicals (12.4%)   Food (13.9%)
Top three export countries (% of total, 2017)   Top three import countries (% of total, 2017)
Germany (10.7%)   Italy (19.5%)
France (6.3%)   Germany (6.7%)
Italy (5.8%)   UK (6.6%)

Source: Economist Intelligence Unit

Political Highlights

 

Malta was independent from the UK in 1964 and became a member country of The Commonwealth. It is a parliamentary republic wherein the president is the head of state elected by the House of Representatives for a five-year term. Current President Marie‑Louise Coleiro Preca was elected in April 2014. Prime minister, Joseph Muscat, is the head of government and his Labour Party (PL) holds a majority in parliament with 37 of the 67 seats at the snap election held in June 2017, which provides a strong mandate for the government to pursue its reform strategy. Pension and healthcare reform remains the key agenda for the government given the country’s aging population which put pressure on its public finances.

 

Economic Trend

* Forecast
Source: International Monetary Fund


Malta is one of the smallest nations in the world, and remains one of the fastest-growing economies in Europe, aided by a rapid expansion of export-oriented services, favorable labor market dynamics, and prudent policies. Economic growth in recent years continued to be robust, supported by strong export performance from the e-gaming and tourism sectors.

In September 2018, Standard & Poor’s affirmed its 'A-/A-2' long-term and short-term sovereign credit ratings on Malta. The ratings on Malta are supported by its strong growth performance, recurring current account surpluses driven by its large services exports, and the improving general government budgetary position and fiscal management.

Hong Kong – Malta Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Malta decreased by 37.5% from HK$205 million in 2016 to HK$128 million in 2017. The top three export categories to Malta were: (1) electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances and electrical parts thereof (-13.8%), (2) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (-33.3%), and (3) professional, scientific and controlling instruments and apparatus (+61.5%), which represented 54.9% of total exports to Malta.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) imposes no restrictions on covering Malta buyers. In the past 12 months (from December 2017 to November 2018), there was no claim payment or payment difficulty case reported.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 21 December 2018

          
Flag and map of Chile

 
Key Information
Capital   Santiago
Population   18.3 million
Area   756,946 sq km
Currency   Chilean Peso (1 USD = 690.70195 CLP as of 20 December 2018)
Official language   Spanish
Form of government   Presidential republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 56 out of 190 in 2019 (↓1)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 33 out of 140 in 2018 (no change)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 34 out of 160 in 2018
Major merchandise exports (% of total, 2017)   Major merchandise imports (% of total, 2017)
Copper (40.8%)   Intermediate goods (47.6%)
Fresh fruit (7.1%)   Consumer goods (31.9%)
Salmon & trout (6.0%)   Capital goods (19.2%)
Top three export markets (% of total, 2017)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2017)
China (27.5%)   China (23.5%)
USA (14.4%)   USA (17.8%)
Japan (9.3%)   Brazil (8.5%)

Source: Economist Intelligence Unit

Political Highlights

 

Chile is a presidential republic. The president is both the head of state and chief of government, elected by popular vote for a four-year term. The presidential authority allows for the appointment of governors of the 53 provinces and intendants of the 15 regions as well as the appointment and removal of cabinet ministers. Sebastian Pinera, who had served as president between 2010 and 2014, won the presidential election in December 2017 and took office in March 2018 for a four-year term. The country adopts a bicameral legislature, consisting of a 43-seat Senate and a 155-seat Chamber of Deputies.

 

Economic Trend

*Estimate ^Forecast
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit


The Chilean economic cycle has been strongly correlated with copper prices, as copper accounted for about 50% of the country’s total exports in 2017. Amid the end of the commodity boom, economic growth fell from a high of 6.1% in 2011 to 1.6% in 2017, reflecting subdued confidence and sluggish investment in the mining sector. In the first half of 2018, improved external conditions and lower domestic policy uncertainty have favored an economic rebound, with growth reached 5.3% year-on-year for the second quarter of 2018. However, although Chile has attempted to diversify its export base, notably into non-traditional sectors such as fruit, salmon and wine, it remains overwhelmingly reliant on copper.

In July 2018, Moody’s downgraded the country’s sovereign rating to ‘A1’ from ‘Aa3’ and changed the outlook to stable from negative, with main factors that prompted action on the sovereign include its debt levels and weakening fiscal position. Meanwhile, the stable outlook reflects Moody’s view that the Chilean government retains important credit strengths, including high scores on governance and policy effectiveness indicators.

 

Hong Kong – Chile Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Chile decreased by 10.5% from HK$5,125 million in 2016 to HK$4,588 million in 2017. The top three export categories to Chile were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (-12.3%), (2) office machines and automatic data processing machines (+21.5%), and (3) footwear (-28.7%), which represented 81.3% of total exports to Chile.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) imposes no restrictions on covering Chilean buyers. For 2017, the number and the amount of credit limit applications increased by 4.2% and 27.1% respectively, and insured business increased by 8.6%. Major insured products were clothing, toys, and footwear, which represented 80.9% of HKECIC’s insured business on Chile. The Corporation’s underwriting experience on Chile has been satisfactory, with one payment difficulty case of small amount reported in the past 12 months (December 2017 to November 2018).

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 20 December 2018

     
Flag and map of Tajikistan

 
Key Information
Capital   Dushanbe
Population   8.9 million
Area   143,100 sq km
Currency   Tajikistani Somoni (1 USD = 9.4265 TJS as of 19 December 2018)
Official language   Tajik
Form of government   Presidential republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 126 out of 190 in 2019 (↓3)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 102 out of 140 in 2018 (↓23)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 134 out of 160 in 2018
Major merchandise exports (% of total, 2017)   Major merchandise imports (% of total, 2017)
Aluminium (15.8%)   Electricity (39.5%)
Cotton fibre (9.6%)   Petroleum products (9.6%)
Electricity (4.2%)   Grain (7.1%)
Top three export markets (% of total, 2017)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2017)
Turkey (25.9%)   Russia (42.6%)
China (16.7%)   Kazakhstan (20.9%)
Russia (12.6%)   China (10.4%)

Source: Economist Intelligence Unit

Political Highlights

 

Tajikistan is a landlocked nation in central Asia. The president serves as both the chief of state and head of government. The incumbent president, Emomali Rahmon, assumed office in 1994 and was re-elected for a fourth term in November 2013. The country adopts a bicameral parliament consisting of a 33-seat National Assembly (upper chamber) and a 63-seat Assembly of Representatives (lower chamber). The governing party People's Democratic Party of Tajikistan (PDPT) holds an absolute majority in both chambers of the parliament and has a widespread presence throughout the country. The next parliamentary and presidential elections are scheduled for 2020.

Externally, Tajikistan maintains close ties with Russia, which provides military aids and maintains a military base in Tajikistan. In recent years, the country’s economic dependence on China is also increasing, mainly through public borrowing and infrastructure investment.

 

Economic Trend

* Estimate ^ Forecast
Source: International Monetary Fund


About 93% of Tajikistan’s territory is covered by mountains and three quarters of that is under permanent snow or glaciers. Against this backdrop, the country faces obstacles to its economic development, including unstable food security, limited transport connectivity and low levels of private investment. In January 2018, the Tajikistan’s government and the World Bank signed a US$16.5 million grant agreement for a project aimed to rehabilitate and improve irrigation management, to allow farmers to increase their crops and improve their livelihoods.

The Tajikistani economy is hinged on remittances from citizens working abroad (mostly in Russia), contributing about one-third of its GDP in 2017. With the Russian economy returning to positive growth, Tajikistan’s economic growth accelerated to 7.1% in 2017 and 7.2% in the first half of 2018. However, according to the World Bank, the medium-term outlook is subject to downside risks including its narrow and concentrated export basket, ailing banking sector, high contingent liabilities of state-owned enterprises, and rising debt pressures.

Hong Kong – Tajikistan Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Tajikistan increased by 92.5% from HK$6.9 million in 2016 to HK$13.2 million in 2017. The top three export categories to Tajikistan were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (+345.5%), (2) electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances and electrical parts thereof (-29.3%), and (3) photographic apparatus, equipment and supplies and optical goods, watches and clocks, which represented 98.6% of total exports to Tajikistan.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) offers coverage on buyers in Tajikistan with payment terms in Irrevocable Letter of Credit (ILC). In the past 12 months (from December 2017 to November 2018), there was no insured business on Tajikistan.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 19 December 2018

              
Flag and map of Zambia

 
Key Information
Capital   Lusaka
Population   17.1 million
Area   752,612 sq km
Currency   Zambian Kwacha (1 USD = 12,028.96 ZMK as of 18 December 2018)
Official language   English
Form of government   Presidential republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 87 out of 190 in 2019 (↓2)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 118 out of 140 in 2018 ( - )
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 111 out of 160 in 2018
Major merchandise exports (% of total, 2016*)   Major merchandise imports (% of total, 2016*)
Fuels and mining products (75.2%)   Manufactured goods (61.2%)
Manufactured goods (13.2%)   Fuels and mining products (32.7%)
Agricultural products (11.2%)   Agricultural products (6.0%)
Top three export markets (% of total, 2017)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2017)
Switzerland (44.8%)   South Africa (28.2%)
China (16.1%)   Democratic Republic of Congo (20.7%)
Democratic Republic of Congo (6.2%)   China (12.9%)

* Most recent data available
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit, World Trade Organization

Political Highlights

 

Zambia is a landlocked nation in the central south Africa. It gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1964 and became a member country of The Commonwealth. The president, elected by universal suffrage for a five-year team, serves as both the chief of state and head of government. Edgar Lungu was re-elected as the country’s president in 2016. The country has a unicameral legislative with 158 members in the National Assembly, of which the President has the power to nominate eight special members of the National Assembly, and five of whom can serve in the cabinet. The next presidential and legislative elections are due in August 2021.

 

Economic Trend

*Estimate ^Forecast
Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF)


Zambia is highly dependent on its mining sector, with copper contributing nearly 80% of its total exports. The government has launched its 7th National Development Plan (2017-2021), which aimed to create a more diversified and resilient economy for sustained growth and social economic development. According to World Bank, economic growth is estimated to strengthen to above 4% in 2018 and over the medium-term, benefiting from the higher international copper prices and improved domestic copper production. However, the country’s public debt has been rising at an unsustainable pace. In October 2017, the IMF has elevated the country’s risk of external debt distress to high from medium
.

 

Hong Kong – Zambia Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Zambia increased by 75.8% from HK$270.8 million in 2016 to HK$476.1 million in 2017. The top three export categories to Zambia were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (+51.9%), (2) office machines and automatic data processing machines (+659.0%), and (3) professional, scientific and controlling instruments and apparatus (+1,558.8%), which represented 96.8% of total exports to Zambia.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) offers coverage on buyers in Zambia with payment terms in Irrevocable Letter of Credit (ILC). In the past 12 months (from December 2017 to November 2018), there was no insured business on Zambia.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 18 December 2018

       
Flag and map of El Salvador

 
Key Information
Capital   San Salvador
Population   6.2 million
Area   21,041 sq km
Currency   USD and El Salvador Colon (pegged to the U.S. dollar at a rate of 8.75 SVC = 1 USD)
Official language   Spanish
Form of government   Unitary republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 85 out of 190 in 2018/19 (↓12)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 98 out of 140 in 2018 (-)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 101 out of 160 in 2018
 
Major merchandise exports (% of total, 2017)   Major merchandise imports (% of total, 2017)
Non-traditional goods (75.5%)   Intermediate goods (41.2%)
Maquila (19.2%)   Consumer goods (37.5%)
Coffee (3.2%)   Capital goods (15.2%)
Top three export countries (% of total, 2017)   Top three import countries (% of total, 2017)
USA (45.7%)   USA (36.5%)
Honduras (13.9%)   Guatemala (10.4%)
Guatemala (13.5%)   China (8.7%)

Source: Economist Intelligence Unit

Political Highlights

 

El Salvador is a unitary republic wherein the president is the head of state and head of government elected by universal suffrage and serves a single five years term. President, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, took office in 2014 and his left-wing Frente Farabundo Marti para la Liberacion Nacional (FMLN) were in weak position as the party only won a minority 23 of 84 seats in the legislative elections in March 2018. The opposition right-wing Alianza Republicana Nacionalista (Arena) dominates the political discussion for the remainder of Sanchez's term, which runs to June 2019.The next presidential election is due in February 2019. Nayib Bukele from another right-wing Gran Alianza por la Unidad Nacional (Gana), is currently ahead in opinion polls.

 

Economic Trend

* Forecast
Source: International Monetary Fund


El Salvador is one of the smallest Latin American markets. The small domestic market and limited productive capabilities has limited the country’s growth. Real GDP growth averaged 2.5% during 2011-17. The government finances and investment remained insufficient to support infrastructure development, education and social security. Emigration is high and it is concentrated among the young age. Economic links to the US are strong and broad-based, with the US receiving over 95% of Salvadoran emigrants. As a result, the country is highly dependent to the US as over 90% of remittances inflow was from the US, and accounted for over 15% of the country’s total GDP. It is forecast that the country will continue to post modest economic growth in 2018 and 2019, reflecting the acceleration of US growth.

Hong Kong – El Salvador Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to El Salvador decreased by 13.8% from HK$689 million in 2016 to HK$594 million in 2017. The top three export categories to El Salvador were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (-9.5%), (2) footwear (-27.2%), and (3) textile yarn, fabrics, made-up articles, and related products (-1.2%), which represented 73.2% of total exports to El Salvador.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) imposes no restrictions on covering El Salvador buyers. In the past 12 months (from December 2017 to November 2018), there was no claim payment or payment difficulty case reported.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 17 December 2018

            
Flag and map of Samoa

 
Key Information
Capital   Apia
Population   0.2 million
Area   2,831 sq km
Currency   Samoan Tala (1 USD = 2.58148 WST as of 14 December 2018)
Official language   English and Samoan
Form of government   Parliamentary republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 90 out of 190 in 2019 (↓3)
Major Merchandise Exports (% of total, 2016*)   Major Merchandise Imports (% of total, 2016*)
Agricultural products (47.8%)   Manufactured goods (55.4%)
Manufactured goods (29.9%)   Agricultural products (30.3%)
Fuels and mining products (22.0%)   Fuels and mining products (14.1%)
Top three export markets (% of total, 2017)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2017)
American Samoa (26.6%)   New Zealand (26.4%)
Australia (21.4%)   Singapore (16.6%)
New Zealand (19.7%)   USA (11.1%)

*Most recent data available
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit, World Trade Organization

Political Highlights

 

Samoa gained independence from New Zealand in 1962 and has become a member country of The Commonwealth. Under the constitution, the head of state is elected by the unicameral parliament for five years. The prime minister, chosen by a majority in the parliament, serves as the head of government and selects 12 ministers to form a cabinet. The Human Rights Protection Party (HRPP), which is led by the Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele, gained a landslide victory in the parliamentary election in March 2016, seizing 47 of the 50 seats. The next general election in Samoa is in 2021.

 

Economic Trend

* Estimate ^ Forecast
Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF)


Samoa’s economy is highly dependent on agriculture, tourism, family remittance from overseas and international aid, with agricultural sector accounting for an overwhelming 90% of export revenue. The United Nations (UN) had upgraded the country’s economic status from Least Developed Countries to Developing Country in 2014. However, the country remains vulnerable to a variety of natural disasters, including earthquakes, tropical cyclones and tsunamis. In October 2018, the World Bank approved a US$2.5 million grant to support Samoa as it continues to reinforce the nation’s resilience to natural hazards and to enhance its ability to respond quickly to disasters. Economic growth is projected to accelerate in 2019, driven by tourism related sectors as Samoa will host the Pacific Games in July 2019.

Hong Kong – Samoa Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Samoa decreased by 75.3% from HK$25 million in 2016 to HK$6 million in 2017. The top three export categories to Samoa were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (-81.9%), (2) special transactions and commodities not classified according to kind (+26.0%), and (3) office machines and automatic data processing machines (+32.6%), which represented 75.7% of total exports to Samoa.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) imposes no restrictions on covering Samoan buyers. In the past 12 months (from December 2017 to November 2018), there was no insured business on Samoa.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 14 December 2018

            
Flag and map of Zimbabwe

 
Key Information
Capital   Harare
Population   14.03 million
Area   390,757 sq km
Currency   South African Rand (1 ZAR = 0.0712 USD as of 7 December 2018)
Official language   Shona, Ndebele and English
Form of government   Unitary republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 155 out of 190 in 2018/19 (↑4)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 128 out of 140 in 2018 (↓4)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 152 out of 160 in 2018
Major Merchandise Exports (% of total, 2016*)   Major Merchandise Imports (% of total, 2016*)
Agricultural products (40.0%)   Manufactured products (49.6%)
Fuels and mining products (20.5%)   Fuels and mining products (29.3%)
Manufactured products (9.3%)   Agricultural products (20.5%)
Top three export countries (% of total, 2017)   Top three import countries (% of total, 2017)
South Africa (18.6%)   South Africa (50.3%)
Mozambique (8.3%)   Zambia (21.8%)
UAE (3.6%)   USA (3.4%)

*Most recent data available
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit, World Trade Organization

Political Highlights

 

Zimbabwe is a unitary republic with the president as Head of State and Head of government, elected by universal suffrage. Nearly four decades of ruling by Robert Mugabe, aged 93, was ended after the ruling party, Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF), sacked him with military intervention to prevent him from installing his wife as successor in Nov 2017. Former vice-president of Zanu-PF, Emmerson Mnangagwa, won the presidential election in July 2018. Mnangagwa narrowly won more than half of the votes over the major opposition leader Nelson Chamisa to avoid a run-off election. Meanwhile, the ruling Zabu-PF party has secured 144 seats in the country’s parliament, while the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) won 64. The next presidential and legislative elections are due to be held in 2023.

 

Economic Trend

* Forecast
Source: International Monetary Fund


After nearly four decades of Mugabe’s ruling, the country’s public spending and debts have surged, resulting in economic instability. Furthermore, severe droughts have led to high government expenditure levels since late 2015. In order to finance the deficit and shortages of US dollar, the government increased local borrowings and introduced a bond notes that theoretically worth the same as US dollar. However, the value of bond notes was worth far less than the US dollar, which caused high inflation. In Oct 2018, the new government proposed a two-year economic recovery program that would cut government spending and its wage bill, and privatization of loss-making state-owned firms. New president, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has promised to revive the struggling economy and repay its foreign debts that have been defaulted since 1999.

Hong Kong – Zimbabwe Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Zimbabwe increased by 161.3% from HK$173 million in 2016 to HK$452 million in 2017. The top three export categories to Zimbabwe were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (+191.8%), (2) office machines and automatic data processing machines (+245.2%), and (3) electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (-57.1%), which represented 96.1% of total exports to Zimbabwe.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) offers coverage on Zimbabwe buyers with payment terms in Irrevocable Letter of Credit (ILC) with the exception of those under sanctions. In the past 12 months (from December 2017 to November 2018), there was no insured business on Zimbabwe.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 13 December 2018

          
Flag and map of Uganda

 
Key Information
Capital   Kampala
Population   40.8 million
Area   241,038 sq km
Currency   Uganda Shilling (1 UGX = 0.00027 USD as of 6 December 2018)
Official language   English
Form of government   Unitary republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 127 out of 190 in 2018/19 (↓5)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 117 out of 140 in 2018 (↓4)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 102 out of 160 in 2018
Major Merchandise Exports (% of total, 2016*)   Major Merchandise Imports (% of total, 2016*)
Agricultural products (48.7%)   Manufactured products (66.1%)
Manufactured products (23.6%)   Fuels and mining products (20.2%)
Fuels and mining products (4.1%)   Agricultural products (13.7%)
Top three export markets (% of total, 2017)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2017)
Kenya (17.7%)   China (17.4%)
UAE (16.7%)   India (13.4%)
Rwanda (6.6%)   UAE (12.2%)

*Most recent data available
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit, World Trade Organization

Political Highlights

 

Uganda is a unitary republic with the president as Head of State and Head of government, elected by universal suffrage. Yoweri Museveni has been the president for more than three decades and his National Resistance Movement (NRM) holds a majority of 293 out of 426 seats in parliament. Due to the repressive ruling, there were protests from time to time, which hindered the political stability. However, the largest opposition party The Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) only possess small support base in urban area. Most of the opposition groups have limited funding options and facing repressive rules. The next national elections (presidential, legislative and local) are scheduled in 2021.

 

Economic Trend

* Forecast
Source: International Monetary Fund


Agriculture is the backbone of Uganda’s economy as it is employing more than one third of the working population. However, productivity of the sector is low given the country’s poor infrastructure and low level of investment. Although the ruling NRM implemented a series of structural reform and investment, the growth started to slow in 2010 due to adverse weather, credit constraints, inefficient public sector projects and civil war in its neighbor South Sudan that led to a decline in export. The country recorded a 4.8% GDP growth in 2017 supported by recovery in private sector credit, favorable weather conditions and continued government investment in infrastructure.

The country has discovered an estimated 6.5 billion barrels of oil for more than 12 years ago but the development has been delayed due to taxes and strategy issues between government and oil firms. In the first half of 2018, the country signed deals with Tanzania to jointly develop an export pipeline and signed a preliminary agreement with a consortium of investors to build a refinery, which will drive up the GDP growth. It is expected that GDP will grow further when oil production begin in 2020-21.

Hong Kong – Uganda Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Uganda decreased by 18.6% from HK$515 million in 2016 to HK$419 million in 2017. The top three export categories to Uganda were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (-12.1%), (2) office machines and automatic data processing machines (-58.3%), and (3) electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (+42.2%), which represented 96.1% of total exports to Uganda.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) offers coverage on Uganda buyers with payment terms in Irrevocable Letter of Credit (ILC). In the past 12 months (from January 2018 to December 2018), there was no insured business on Uganda.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 7 December 2018

          
Flag and map of South Sudan

 
Key Information
Capital   Juba
Population   10.2 million
Area   644,329 sq km
Currency   South Sudanese pound (1 USD = 130.263 SSP as of 7 December 2018)
Official language   English and Arabic
Form of government   Presidential republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 185 out of 190 in 2018/19 (↑2)

Source: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

Political Highlights

 

Republic of South Sudan (South Sudan) gained independence from Sudan through a referendum in 2011. The country is a presidential republic wherein the president is the Head of State and Head of Government. Salva Kiir Mayardit had served as president of the semiautonomous region of southern Sudan since 2005 when the country is still part of Sudan, while simultaneously holding the position of vice president in Sudan. He continued to serve as the president of South Sudan after the country gained independence in 2011. The country was formed by over 60 different major ethnic groups and most of its people follow traditional religions. The country was engulfed by civil war in between 2013-2018. Although Kirr signed a power-sharing agreement with rebel leader Machar and other opposition groups, trying to end the conflict, political instability remains.

Although most of the oil production capacity is in South Sudan rather than Sudan, South Sudan is landlocked and remains dependent on Sudan’s export pipelines and port. Civil unrest, disagreements over oil revenue sharing and border disputes have curtailed oil production and investment in both countries.

 

Economic Trend

* Forecasts
Source: International Monetary Fund


South Sudan is dominated by the oil industry, which contributes to about 60% of GDP and more than 95% of government revenues. The country has abundant agricultural land but less than 5% is cultivated because of lacking high-yielding farming technology. Economic conditions have deteriorated rapidly since the beginning of the civil conflict in late 2013. The unresolved civil conflicts have led to a reduction in oil production and the economy encountered contraction in the last few years. According to World Bank’s 2019 Doing Business report, the country is one of the countries with most constrained business and investment environment
.

 

Hong Kong – South Sudan Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to South Sudan decreased by 47.5% from HK$18.8 million in 2016 to HK$9.9 million in 2017. The top three export categories to South Sudan were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (-57.7%), (2) electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (-10.5%), and (3) office machines and automatic data processing machines (N/A), which represented 89.0% of total exports to South Sudan.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) currently does not provide cover on South Sudan.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 7 December 2018

       
Flag and map of Nigeria

 
Key Information
Capital   Abuja
Population   203.4 million
Area   923,768 sq km
Currency   Naira (1 NGN = 0.0028 USD as of 4 December 2018)
Official language   English
Form of government   Federal republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 146 out of 190 in 2018/19 (↓1)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 115 out of 140 in 2018 (↓3)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 110 out of 160 in 2018
Major merchandise exports (% of total, 2017)   Major merchandise imports (% of total, 2017)
Crude oil (80.1%)   Machinery & transport equipment (26.4%)
Gas (12.6%)   Manufactured goods (13.9%)
Others (7.3%)   Chemicals (11.0%)
Top three export countries (% of total, 2017)   Top three import countries (% of total, 2017)
India (32.4%)   China (21.2%)
US (13.1%)   Belgium (8.7%)
Spain (7.1%)   US (8.4%)

Source: Economist Intelligence Unit

Political Highlights

 

Nigeria gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1960 and became a member country of the Commonwealth. It is a federal republic with the president as Head of State and Head of Government, elected by universal suffrage to serve a four-year term. The legislature is a bicameral National Assembly made up of a House of Representatives with 360 seats and a Senate with 109 seats, each elected for a four-year term. In the presidential election in March 2015, opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress (APC) defeated the incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Political instability remains in the country as there was little progress in economic reform and the relationship between Buhari, the legislature and some members of his APC have been strained in recent months. In July 2018, 15 senators quit the ruling APC, making it a minority in the upper house.

 

Economic Trend

* Forecast
Source: International Monetary Fund


Nigeria is one of Africa’s wealthiest economies and is vulnerable to fluctuations in international prices and demand for oil and gas, which accounts for more than 90% of its export earnings. The recovery of oil prices and growth in agriculture, telecommunications and services sectors brought the country out of recession and growth for 2018 is projected to expand further to 2.1%. However, despite being the largest oil producer in Africa, the country has struggled to translate its resource wealth into rising living standards, and has overtaken India with the largest number of people living in extreme poverty.

Hong Kong – Nigeria Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Nigeria decreased by 4.6% from HK$5.3 billion in 2016 to HK$5.1 billion in 2017. The top three export categories to Nigeria were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (-3.9%), (2) office machines and automatic data processing machines (+10.3%), and (3) electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (-43.3%), which represented 97.0% of total exports to Nigeria.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) imposes no restrictions on covering Nigerian buyers. In the past 12 months (from December 2017 to November 2018), there was no claim payment or payment difficulty case reported against Nigerian buyers.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 4 December 2018

          
Flag and map of Kenya

 
Key Information
Capital   Nairobi
Population   47.6 million
Area   569,140 sq km
Currency   Kenya Shilling (1 KES = 0.00975 USD as of 3 Dec 2018)
Official language   English and Kiswahili
Form of government   Unitary Republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 61 out of 190 (↑19) in 2018/19
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 93 out of 140 in 2018 (-)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 68 out of 160 in 2018
Major Merchandise Exports (% of total, 2017)   Major Merchandise Imports (% of total, 2017)
Teas (21.2%)   Industrial supplies (37.3%)
Horticulture (12.8%)   Machinery & other capital equipment (20.4%)
Coffee (3.5%)   Transport equipment (18.9%)
Top three export markets (% of total, 2017)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2017)
Uganda (10.8%)    China (23.6%)
USA (7.5%)   India (14.4%)
Netherlands (7.5%   U.A.E. (6.4%)

Source: Economist Intelligence Unit, World Trade Organization

Political Highlights

 

Kenya is a unitary republic with the President as both the head of state and head of government. Uhuru Kenyatta won his second term as president in October 2017. Though the most prominent opposition leader, Raila Odinga, defied the election result and sworn in as “president of the people” at a mass meeting in January 2018, the two leaders finally promised to begin reconciliation in March 2018. Expanding manufacturing sector, food security, health and housing will remain the government’s major agenda for the coming years.

The country’s foreign policies have been mainly driven by economic interests, especially the maintenance of close relations with key donors in the West and the advancement of regional integration within the East African Community (EAC). The country has seen an upsurge in violent terrorist attacks since 2011 and the main threat is from a militant group in Somalia opposed to the Somali government. The Kenyan authorities have increased security to counter potential reprisal attacks from the extremists.

 

Economic Trend

* Forecast
Source: International Monetary Fund


Kenya has been one of the fastest growing economies in Africa, supported by strong growth from the agriculture and tourism sectors. Agriculture contributed close to one-third of the country’s GDP and remains as the backbone of the economy. The country achieved an average annual growth of 5% in the past eight years. The key growth drivers included infrastructure spending and buoyant household consumption, underpinned by strong underlying demand for goods and services.  Economic expansion declined slightly in 2017 with higher current account deficit and accelerated inflation, attributable to a severe drought and the political turmoil from the presidential election. The country is projected to recover in 2018 on the back of increased private consumption and a normalisation of the weather.

Despite an overall uptick in economic growth, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned the country’s growing risk of debt distress. In response, the government is taking steps towards fiscal consolidation and is expected to enhance revenue collection efforts while rationalizing expenditure to boost fiscal stability.

Hong Kong – Kenya Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Kenya increased by 23.9% from HK$1,322 million in 2016 to HK$1,638 million in 2017. The top three export categories to Kenya were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (-23.7%), (2) office machines and automatic data processing machines (+360.3%), and (3) textile yarn, fabrics, made-up articles, and related products (+66.7%), which represented 85.8% of total exports to Kenya.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) imposes no restrictions on covering Kenyan buyers. Currently, the insured buyers in Kenya are mainly small and medium sized companies. For 2017, the number and amount of credit limit applications on Kenya increased 80% and decreased 55.9% respectively, while insured business decreased by 26.5%. Major insured products were chemical products, toys, and electrical appliances, which represented 96.3% of ECIC’s insured business on Kenya. The Corporation’s underwriting experience on Kenya has been satisfactory, with no claim payment or payment difficulty case reported during the past 12 months (from Nov 2017 to Oct 2018).

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 3 December 2018

            
Flag and map of Mozambique

 
Key Information
Capital   Maputo
Population   29.6 million
Area   799,380 sq km
Currency   Metical (1 USD = 61.4337 MZN as of 23 November 2018)
Official language   Portuguese
Form of government   Republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 135 out of 190 (↑3) in 2019
The Global Competitiveness Index 2018 by the World Economic Forum   # 133 out of 140 (↓8)
Major Merchandise Exports (% of total, 2016*)   Major Merchandise Imports (% of total, 2016*)
Fuel and mining products (70.2%)   Manufactured products (43.8%)
Agricultural products (16.3%)   Fuel and mining products (21.9%)
Manufactured products (7.9%)   Agricultural products (16.4%)
Top three export markets (% of total, 2017)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2017)
India (26.8%)   South Africa (38.8%)
Netherlands (23.3%)   China (7.3%)
South Africa (15.9%)   UAE (7.1%)

*Most recent data available
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit, World Trade Organization

Political Highlights

 

Mozambique was independent from Portugal in 1975 and joined the Commonwealth. It is a republic with an executive president. The president is the head of state and government, directly elected every five years for a maximum of two terms, and appoints the prime minister and council of ministers. The national legislature is the 250-member parliament, of which members are elected by direct universal suffrage every five years. The country’s municipal elections were held in October 2018. The ruling party, the Frente de Libertação de Moçambique (Frelimo), won 44 municipalities out of the total 55, which the result was contested by the opposition party. The next presidential, legislative and provincial elections are scheduled in October 2019.

 

Economic Trend

* Forecast
Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF)


The Mozambican economy slowed from 2015 because of a series of shocks, including lower commodity prices and adverse weather conditions. The economy expanded 3.3% in the first three quarters of 2018, supported by contributions from a broad range of economic sectors, including agriculture. Tight monetary conditions and lower food price increases have led inflation to decline rapidly to 4.7% year-on-year in October 2018. Public debt has been rising at an unsustainable pace and debt has remained in distress with several payments on external borrowing missed. In September 2018, Fitch has reaffirmed the country’s long-term foreign currency credit rating at "RD" (Restricted Default), which reflects its failure to cure the default on debt to external commercial creditors.

Hong Kong – Mozambique Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Mozambique increased by 64.5% from HK$187 million in 2016 to HK$308 million in 2017. The top three export categories to Mozambique were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (+114.6%), (2) office machines and automatic data processing machines (+15.0%), and (3) electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (+37.2%), which represented 96.8% of total exports to Mozambique.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) offers coverage on buyers in Mozambique with payment terms in Irrevocable Letter of Credit (ILC). In the past 12 months (from November 2017 to October 2018), there was no insured business on Mozambique.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 23 November 2018

          
Flag and map of Ghana

 
Key Information
Capital   Accra
Population   28.8 million
Area   238,537 sq km
Currency   Ghanaian Cedi (1 USD = 4.82932 GHS as of 20 November 2018)
Official language   English
Form of government   Presidential Republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 120 out of 190 in 2018 (↓12)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 111 out of 137 in 2017/18 (↑3)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 106 out of 160 in 2018
Major merchandise exports (% of total, 2016*)   Major merchandise imports (% of total, 2016*)
Agricultural products (33.0%)   Manufactured products (67.6%)
Fuel and mining products (14.1%)   Agricultural products (13.3%)
Manufactured products (8.1%)   Fuel and mining products (2.6%)
Top three export markets (% of total, 2016)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2016)
India (23.8%)   China (16.8%)
United Arab Emirates (13.4%)   USA (8.0%)
China (10.8%)   United Kingdom (6.2%)

*Most recent data available
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit, World Trade Organization

Political Highlights

 

Ghana is a relatively stable democratic country and is often seen as a model for political and economic reform in Africa. In the general elections held in December 2016, Nana Akufo-Addo of the centre-right New Patriotic Party (NPP) was elected as president, defeating the incumbent John Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). The NPP had taken a majority of seats in the parliament and the transition of power went smooth. The new government started to address public finances and the implementation of the Public Financial Management (PFM) law is expected to bolster government effectiveness going forward. The next general elections are due in November 2020.

 

Economic Trend

* Forecast

Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Ghana is endowed with various abundant natural resources making it one of the richest countries in Africa.  The agricultural sector is vital to the economy which accounts for nearly one-quarter of its GDP and employs more than half of the workforce. Gold and cocoa exports are major sources of foreign exchange. Its economic outlook turned considerably brighter with the discovery of major offshore oil deposits in 2007. Economic growth rebounded in 2017 driven by narrowed current account deficit mainly on the back of increased oil and gas production, while imports were subdued. The country’s debt ratio remained high which primarily consisted of bond liabilities from the energy related sector and it is expected that the stronger growth outlook will contribute to a gradual decline in the coming years.

  

Hong Kong – Ghana Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Ghana decreased by 26.9% from HK$ 1,476 million in 2016 to HK$ 1,078 million in 2017. The top three export categories to Ghana were: (1) telecommunications, audio & video equipment (-8.6%), (2) office machines and automatic data processing machines (+63.5%), and (3) non-ferrous metals (+5.5%), which represented 92.7% of total exports to Ghana.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) imposes no restrictions on covering Ghanaian buyers. In the past 12 months (from November 2017 to October 2018), there was no claim payment or payment difficulty case reported against Ghanaian buyers.



Please click
here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 21 Nov 2018

Flag and map of Sierra Leone

 
Key Information
Capital   Freetown
Population   7.4 million
Area   71,740 sq km
Currency   Sierra Leone Leone (1 USD = 8,389.96 SLL as of 20 November 2018)
Official language   English
Form of government   Presidential Republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 163 out of 190 in 2019 (↓3)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 134 out of 140 in 2018 (↓4)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 156 out of 160 in 2018
Major merchandise exports (% of total, 2016)   Major merchandise imports (% of total, 2016*)
Agricultural products (56.4%)   Manufactured goods (36.5%)
Manufactured goods (16.5%)   Agricultural products (20.1%)
Fuels and mining products (0.4%)   Fuels and mining products (4.6%)
Top three export markets (% of total, 2016*)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2016*)
Côte d'Ivoire (34.7%)   European Union (24.6%)
USA (31.0%)   China (12.6%)
European Union (24.6%)   USA (9.8%)

* Most recent data available
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit, World Trade Organization

 

Political Highlights

 

Sierra Leone, located on the west coast of Africa, is a presidential republic which gained independence from Britain in 1961. The president is both the head of state and chief of government, who is elected by popular vote to serve a five-year term. The president is responsible for appointing the vice president as well as the cabinet ministers. The current president Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) took office in April 2018. The country has a unicameral legislative with 146 members in the Parliament. In the legislative election 2018, the opposition All People's Congress (APC) won 68 seats and the ruling party SLPP won 48 seats.

 

Economic Trend

^ Forecast
Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF)


With nearly half of the working-age population engages in subsistence agriculture, the country has in recent years become more dependent on mining, particularly iron ore. Economic growth in 2017 slowed due to a weak recovery in mineral production, with the growth of iron ore production falling short of market expectation. Besides, the non-iron ore economy grew by only 3.6% in 2017, slowed from a 4.3% growth in 2016 largely due to a fall in construction activities following the slowdown in public investment in infrastructure. In November 2018, the IMF has approved a new US$172 million loan program to help the country combat rising inflation and lackluster economic growth.

 

Hong Kong – Sierra Leone Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Sierra Leone increased by 34.4% from HK$54.13 million in 2016 to HK$72.74 million in 2017. The top three export categories to Sierra Leone were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (+45.9%), (2) electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances and electrical parts thereof (-24.2%), and (3) machinery specialized for particular industries (+123.4%), which represented 94.5% of total exports to Sierra Leone.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) offers coverage on buyers in Sierra Leone with payment terms in Irrevocable Letter of Credit (ILC). In the past 12 months (from November 2017 to October 2018), there was no insured business on Sierra Leone.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 20 November 2018

     
Flag and map of Namibia

 
Key Information
Capital   Windhoek
Population   2.5 million
Area   824,269 sq km
Currency   Namibia dollar (1 USD = 14.3350 NAD as of 15 Nov 2018)
Official language   English
Form of government   Presidential republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 107 out of 190 in 2019 (↓1)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 100 out of 140 in 2018 (↓10)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 117 out of 160 in 2018
Major merchandise exports (% of total, 2016*)   Major merchandise imports (% of total, 2016*)
Manufactured goods (38.8%)   Manufactured goods (64.3%)
Fuels and mining products (36.9%)   Fuels and mining products (20.3%)
Agricultural products (24.1%)   Agricultural products (13.1%)
Top three export markets (% of total, 2017)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2017)
South Africa (27.1%)   South Africa (61.4%)
Belgium (14.9%)   China (3.9%)
China (12.0%)   USA (3.8%)

* Most recent data available
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit

Political Highlights

 

Situated along the south Atlantic coast of Africa, Namibia is a presidential republic which gained independence from South Africa in 1990. The president, who is elected for a five year term, is the head of state and the chief of government. The country adopts a bicameral legislature consisting of a 42-seat upper house and a 104-seat lower house. The ruling party, the South West Africa People's Organisation (SWAPO), has dominated the political scene since independence and has a widespread presence throughout the country. Currently, the SWAPO holds absolute majority in both houses of parliament. The next presidential and legislative elections will take place in 2019.

 

Economic Trend

^Forecast
Source: The International Monetary Fund (IMF)


Namibia possesses rich deposits of natural resources, including diamonds, uranium, copper and gold. In particular, it is one of the world’s largest producers of uranium. The economy is highly influenced by the performance in its mining sector, which accounts for more than half of the foreign exchange earnings. The economy reached a turning point since 2016 and contracted by about 1% in 2017, as the temporary stimulus from large constructions in the mining sector dissipated, and the government continued consolidating to stabilize public debt. The IMF projects the economy to recover gradually in 2018 and return to positive growth in 2019, supported by a rebound in construction activities
.

 

Hong Kong – Namibia Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Namibia decreased by 8.9% from HK$94 million in 2016 to HK$86 million in 2017. The top three export categories to Namibia were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (+13.7%), (2) office machines and automatic data processing machines (-68.0%), and (3) electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances and electrical parts thereof (-52.2%), which represented 93.7% of total exports to Namibia.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) imposes no restriction on covering Namibian buyers. In the past 12 months (from November 2017 to October 2018), there was no insured business on Namibia.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 15 November 2018

       
Flag and map of Cote D'ivoire

 
Key Information
Capital   Yamoussoukro
Population   24.3 million
Area   322,463 sq km
Currency   CFA franc (fixed to the euro at 1 EUR = 655.957 XAF)
Official language   French
Form of government   Presidential Republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 139 out of 190 in 2018 (↑3)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 50 out of 160 in 2018
Major Merchandise Exports (% of total, 2016*)   Major Merchandise Imports (% of total, 2016*)
Agricultural products (60.2%)   Manufactured products (55.5%)
Manufactured products (11.9%)   Agricultural products (19.8%)
Fuel and mining products (11.3%)   Fuel and mining products (14.0%)
Top three export markets (% of total, 2017)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2017)
Netherlands (11.8%)   Nigeria (15.0%)
USA (7.8%)   France (13.8%)
France (6.5%)   China (11.7%)

*Most recent data available
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit, World Trade Organization

Political Highlights

 

Côte d’Ivoire (also known as Ivory Coast) became independent from France in 1960. It is a presidential republic whereby the president is both the head of state and head of government, while the legislature consists of the National Assembly with 255 members elected by universal suffrage for a five-year term. President Alassane Ouattara was re-elected in the last presidential election which took place in October 2015 for another 5 years term. Political tensions in the country have been tense, marked by conflicts over land and ethnicity, with the anticipation to rise again ahead of the 2020 presidential elections. In July 2018, Ouattara dissolved the government amid tensions between his ruling party Rally of the Republicans (RDR) and its coalition partner, the Democratic Party of Ivory Coast (PDCI) in the governing coalition. Prime Minister Amadou Gon Coulibaly was re-appointed to form a new cabinet. The rest of the government, including the key posts of finance and defence minister, remains vacant.

 

Economic Trend

* Forecast
Source: International Monetary Fund


Economic performance in Côte d’Ivoire has been impressive since 2012 with an average annual growth of about 9%. Economic activity was buoyant in 2017 despite external price shocks and social tensions. Real GDP growth was 7.8% for 2017, driven by high cocoa exports and crops due to favorable climatic conditions. Growth has been accompanied by a modest decline in poverty. However, the positive outlook is subject to risks from rising public debt coupled with tighter global financing conditions.

Hong Kong – Côte D’Ivoire Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Côte d’Ivoire increased by 30.5% from HK$283 million in 2016 to HK$369 million in 2017. The top three export categories to Côte d’Ivoire were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (+48.9%), (2) non-ferrous metals (-10.3%), and (3) office machines and automatic data processing machines (-62.8%), which represented 90.5% of total exports to Côte d’Ivoire.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) offers coverage on buyers in Côte d’Ivoire with payment terms in Irrevocable Letter of Credit (ILC). In the past 12 months (from November 2017 to October 2018), there was no insured business on Côte d’Ivoire.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 12 November 2018

          


 
Key Information
Capital   Saint George's
Population   0.11 million
Area   344 sq km
Currency   East Caribbean Dollar (1 USD = 2.7018 XCD as of 9 November 2018)
Official language   English
Form of government   Constitutional Monarchy
Ease of doing business 2019 by World Bank   # 147 out of 190 (↓5)

Source: World Bank

Political Highlights

 

Grenada was independent from Britain and joined the Commonwealth in 1974. It is a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as the head of state and she is represented by the Governor General. The country adopts a bicameral legislature consisting of the House of Representatives with 15 members elected by universal suffrage for a five-year term, and the Senate with 13 members appointed for a five-year term by the Governor-General in consultation with the Prime Minister and the leader of the opposition. The Prime Minister serves as the head of the government and appoints the cabinet. The current government headed by Prime Minister Keith Mitchell led his New National Party (NNP) to an historic clean sweep of all 15 seats of the lower house in the election held in March 2018, having won the election on the strength of the favorable economic performance.

 

Economic Trend

*Estimate ^Forecast
Source: The International Monetary Fund (IMF)


Grenada has a small and open economy in the Caribbean Sea. The country is the world’s second largest producer of nutmeg. Over the past two decades, the economy has transformed from an agriculture-dominant to a services-dominant one, with tourism serving as the leading foreign currency earning sector. In 2017, Grenada experienced its fifth consecutive year of growth, driven by strong activity in construction, tourism, and education sectors.

The economy is projected to continue its growth for 2018 and 2019, thanks to supportive global economic conditions and continued strength in construction and tourism. While the outlook remains positive, the IMF said in a statement that continued policy resolve and public support for reforms are critical to restoring debt sustainability, improving medium‑term growth prospects, and strengthening the financial sector. Besides, the country’s current account deficit has widened in 2017, reflecting higher import growth. The deficit is projected to widen further in 2018 mostly due to recent increases in energy costs.

 

Hong Kong – Grenada Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Grenada decreased by 33.4% from HK$6.2 million in 2016 to HK$4.2 million in 2017. The top three export categories to Guinea were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (+809.8%), (2) travel goods, handbags and similar containers, and (3) electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances and electrical parts thereof (+66.7%), which represented 82.8% of total exports to Grenada.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) offers coverage on buyers in Grenada with payment terms in Irrevocable Letter of Credit (ILC). In the past 12 months (from November 2017 to October 2018), there was no insured business on Grenada.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 9 November 2018

       
Flag and map of Gabon

 
Key Information
Capital   Libreville
Population   1.73 million
Area   267,667 sq km
Currency   CFA franc (pegged to the Euro at 1 Euro = 655.957 XAF)
Official language   French
Form of government   Presidential Republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 167 out of 190 in 2018 (↓3)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 150 out of 160 in 2018
Major merchandise exports (% of total, 2016*)   Major merchandise imports (% of total, 20176*
Fuels and mining products (75.5%)   Manufactured goods (74.8%)
Agricultural products (9.0%)   Agricultural products (18.5%)
Manufactured goods (4.3%)   Fuels and mining products (6.3%)
Top three export markets (% of total, 2017)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2017)
China (36.5%)   France (23.5%)
USA (10.0%)   Belgium (19.6%)
Ireland (8.5%)   China (15.1%)

Source: Economist Intelligence Unit, World Trade Organisation
*Most recent data available

Political Highlights

 

Gabon, located on the west coast of Africa, is a presidential republic which gained independence from France in 1960. The president is both the head of state and chief of government, who is elected by popular vote for a seven-year term. The president appoints the prime minister, who is responsible for appointing the members of the Council of Ministers through consultation with the head of state. Currently, political power rests mainly with president Ali Bongo Ondimba, who has assumed office since 2009 and won his second term of office in 2016. The ruling party Parti démocratique gabonais (PDG) and its allies have won the parliamentary elections by an absolute majority in October 2018 and will continue to dominate the political landscape.

 

Economic Trend

*Estimate ^Forecast
Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF)


The economy of Gabon is highly influenced by the performance of its oil and manganese production. In particular, the oil sector has accounted for an overwhelming 80% of the country’s exports and nearly half of the GDP. Economic growth slowed in 2017, owing to a slowdown in oil production partly due to work stoppages at some firms and the impact of fiscal consolidation on the commercial and service sectors. Nevertheless, oil production is likely to stabilize in 2018 thanks to higher international oil prices and the expectation of new oil fields which come into production.


In September 2018, the IMF views that Gabon’s medium-term economic outlook remains relatively favorable, as large foreign direct investment flows into new economic sectors would help Gabon shed its longstanding dependence on the oil sector and public spending. Broader reforms of the business environment are also contributing to the diversification and resilience of the economy and supporting the objective of achieving growth rates of 4 to 5% over the medium-term.
 

 

Hong Kong – Gabon Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Gabon increased by 41.6% from HK$115 million in 2016 to HK$163 million in 2017. The top three export categories to Gabon were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (+144.1%), (2) electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances and electrical parts thereof (-33.3%), and (3) articles of apparel and clothing accessories (-48.3%), which represented 96.0% of total exports to Gabon.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) imposes no restrictions on covering buyers in Gabon. In the past 12 months (from October 2017 to September 2018), there was no insured business on Gabon.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 31 October 2018

       
Flag and map of Gambia

 
Key Information
Capital   Banjul
Population   2.1 million
Area   11,300 sq km
Currency   Gambian Dalasi (1 GMD = 0.020 USD as of 30 October 2018)
Official language   English
Form of government   Unitary republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 146 out of 190 in 2018 (↓1)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 117 out of 137 in 2017/18 (↑6)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 127 out of 160 in 2018
Major Merchandise Exports (% of total, 2016*)   Major Merchandise Imports (% of total, 2016*)
Manufactures (71.1%)   Agricultural products (41.6%)
Agricultural products (27.3%)   Manufactures (35.8%)
Fuels and mining products (1.2%)   Fuels and mining products (16.1%)
Top three export markets (% of total, 2017)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2017)
Guinea-Bissau (51.4%)   Cote d'Ivoire (11.8%)
Vietnam (15.1%)   Brazil (10.6%)
Senegal (7.5%)   Spain (10.1%)

*Most recent data available
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit, World Trade Organization

Political Highlights

 

Gambia is a unitary republic with the president as both the head of state and head of government elected by universal suffrage for a five-year term. Adama Barrow was elected as the country’s president in Jan 2017 after a 22 years rule by the former president Yahya Jammeh. Barrow’s allies and the ruling party United Democratic Party (UDP) won an absolute majority in the parliamentary elections in April 2017 and local elections in April 2018, supporting the new government and creating a more supportive political environment for reform. After two decades of authoritarian ruling by Jammeh, the new government outlined its 2018-2021 reform program seeking to restore the rule of law, deepen democracy, advance transitional justice, and transform the security sector. The next presidential election is scheduled in 2020 (Barrow has declared that he will serve only a three-year term).

 

Economic Trend

* Forecast
Source: International Monetary Fund


Gambia is one of the countries with the lowest GDP per capita. Its economy depends on trade, agriculture and tourism with over 70% of populations working in the agricultural sector. Economic activity in 2017 has rebounded as a result of improved trade relation with Senegal, favorable weather conditions and a pick-up in tourism. However, the country’s debt vulnerability remains high with large amount of external and domestic debt as well as a large pipeline of already-contracted loans that pose risks to solvency. In May 2018, the IMF has warned against the country’s high debt and added the government should strictly limiting reliance on external borrowing, even on concessional terms.

Hong Kong – Gambia Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Gambia increased by 567.9% from HK$8.9 million in 2016 to HK$59.6 million in 2017. The top three export categories to Gambia were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (+687.2%), (2) general industrial machinery and equipment and machine parts (+1,615.2%), and (3) organic chemicals (2016: nil), which represented 98.7% of total exports to Gambia.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) offers coverage on Gambian buyers with payment terms in Irrevocable Letter of Credit (ILC).  In the past 12 months (from October 2017 to September 2018), there was no insured business on Gambia.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 30 October 2018

          
Flag and map of Chad

 
Key Information
Capital   N'Djamena
Population   14.9 million
Area   1,284,000 sq km
Currency   Central African CFA franc (fixed to the Euro at 1 EUR = 655.957 XAF)
Official language   French and Chadian Arabic
Form of government   Presidential Republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 180 out of 190 in 2018 (same as 2017)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 135 out of 137 in 2017/18 (↑1)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 123 out of 160 in 2018
Top three export markets (% of total, 2017)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2017)
USA (38.5%)   Cameroon (22.4%)
China (16.6%)   China (18.9%)
Netherland (15.6%)   France (16.2%)

Source: Economist Intelligence Unit

Political Highlights

 

Chad is a landlocked nation in central Africa. The president, directly elected by universal suffrage, serves as both the chief of state and head of government. The incumbent president, Idriss Deby, who took power in 1990, has dominated the country's politics since then. The country adopts a unicameral legislature with 188 members in the National Assembly. The governing party Mouvement patriotique du salut (MPS) holds an absolute majority in the parliament and has a widespread presence throughout the country. Election for the parliament was originally due to be held in 2015, but had been delayed several times due to lack of sufficient funds and is now scheduled for February 2019.

 

Economic Trend

*Estimate ^Forecast
Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF)


Chad has been listed on the Least Developed Countries (LDC) by the United Nation (UN) since 1971. The country is heavily dependent on its oil sector which generates about 60% of its export earnings. However, economic activity contracted in 2016 and 2017, as the country continued to suffer the impacts of underperformance of the oil sector due to technical problems and security concerns.


The government has launched its National Development Plan (2017-2021) to improve the economy’s competitiveness and reduce its reliance on oil production, including the development of value chains in agriculture, farming, fishing, and mining. Meanwhile, the country is supported by a three-year extended credit facility from the IMF in 2017, which is aimed to help Chad restoring macroeconomic stability and laying the foundation for robust and inclusive growth. The IMF had disbursed US$49 million to Chad in July 2018, bringing total disbursements under the arrangement to US$147 million
.
 

 

Hong Kong – Chad Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Chad increased by 40.0% from HK$25.86 million in 2016 to HK$36.19 million in 2017. The top three export categories to Chad were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (+98.3%), (2) office machines and automatic data processing machines (+5.7%), and (3) electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances and electrical parts thereof (+2.7%), which represented 96.1% of total exports to Chad.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) offers coverage on Chadian buyers with payment terms in Irrevocable Letter of Credit (ILC). In the past 12 months (from October 2017 to September 2018), there was no insured business on Chad.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 26 October 2018

       
Flag and map of Congo

 
Key Information
Capital   Brazzaville
Population   4.95 million
Area   342,000 sq km
Currency   CFA franc (pegged to the Euro at 1 Euro = 655.957 XAF)
Official language   French
Form of government   Presidential republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 179 out of 190 in 2018 (↓2)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 126 out of 137 in 2017/18 (↑3)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 115 out of 160 in 2018
Major merchandise exports (% of total, 2016*)   Major merchandise imports (% of total, 2016*)
Petroleum (78.0%)   Petroleum sector (49.9%)
Timber (6.0%)   Non-petroleum private sector (50.1%)
Top three export markets (% of total, 2017)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2017)
China (33.8%)   France (6.7%)
Angola (3.9%)   China (6.2%)
Gabon (3.6%)   Belgium (5.5%)

*Most recent data available
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit

Political Highlights

 

The Republic of Congo (referred to as “Congo”) is a presidential republic whereby the president acts as head of state and elected by universal suffrage to a maximum of three five-year terms. Current president, Denis Sassou Nguesso, was re-elected in March 2016 for his third term. The position of prime minister was reinstated in the 2015 constitutional referendum as head of government. Former finance minister Clement Mouamba was appointed as prime minister in 2016 to head a cabinet. The political environment has been relatively stable given the ruling Parti congolais du travail (PCT) won an absolute majority of 90 seats out of 151 at the National Assembly. The next presidential and legislative elections are due in 2021 and 2022 respectively.

 

Though there were sustained fiscal adjustments since 2015, the country’s economy remained imbalance with large and unsustainable debts.  The debt-laden has been trying to secure a bailout from International Monetary Fund (IMF) since 2017, which the IMF has asked the country to take bold and immediate governance reforms especially on anti-corruption effort before any package is considered.

 

Economic Trend

* Forecast
Source: International Monetary Fund


Congo is Africa's fourth-largest oil producer and its economy depends heavily on oil. The country encountered contraction for the past two years after a slump in oil prices. It is expected the economy will pick up in 2018 upon commercial production from new oilfields, including the deep offshore Moho North project and the Banga Kayo oilfield. Furthermore, the country’s fiscal and external imbalances are expected to reduce through fiscal consolidation efforts, the central bank’s tighter monetary policy and stricter enforcement of regulations. In Sep 2018, Standard & Poor’s raised its sovereign credit rating to B-/B from CCC+ with a stable rating outlook, citing the high external and fiscal vulnerabilities will lessen significantly in the coming years on higher oil production and prices.

Hong Kong – Congo Verde Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Congo decreased by 12.8% from HK$175.5 million in 2016 to HK$153 million in 2017. The top three export categories to Congo were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (-3.8%), (2) electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (-33.9%), and (3) office machines and automatic data processing machines (+22.8%), which represented 87.2% of total exports to Congo.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) offers coverage on Congolese buyers with payment terms in Irrevocable Letter of Credit (ILC).  In the past 12 months (from October 2017 to September 2018), there was no insured business on Congo.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 25 October 2018

            
Flag and map of Cabo Verde

 
Key Information
Capital   Praia
Population   0.56 million
Area   4,033 sq km
Currency   Cabo Verde escudo (pegged to the Euro at a rate of 1 EUR = 110.27 CVE))
Official language   Portuguese
Form of government   Unitary republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 127 out of 190 in 2018 (↑2)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 110 out of 137 in 2017/18 (-)
Major merchandise exports (% of total, 2016*)   Major merchandise imports (% of total, 2016*)
Agricultural products (82.0%)   Manufactured products (57.1%)
Manufactured products (16.6%)   Agricultural products (33.3%)
Other (1.4%)   Fuels and mining products (9.5%)
Top three export markets (% of total, 2017)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2017)
Spain (45.1%)   Portugal (42.9%)
Portugal (40.1%)   Spain (12.6%)
Netherlands (8.1%)   Italy (4.6%)

*Most recent data available
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit, World Trade Organization

Political Highlights

 

Cabo Verde is a unitary republic with the president as the head of state elected by universal suffrage to a maximum of two five-year terms. Current president, Jorge Carlos Fonseca, was re-elected in October 2016 for his second term. The prime minister is the head of government appointed by parliament. José Ulisses de Pina Correia e Silva sworn in as prime minister in April 2016 after his Movimento para a Democracia (MPD) ousted the ruling Partido Africano da Independência de Cabo Verde (PAICV) for the first time in 15 years. The political environment is relatively stable given the MPD’s absolute majority in the National Assembly. The next legislative and presidential elections are due in 2021.

 

Cabo Verde has made significant progress over the last few decades in economic and social development. The government's priorities are boosting growth and employment, promoting economic diversification and reining in the high public debt.

 

Economic Trend

* Forecast
Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF)


Cabo Verde comprises 10 islands and five islets. The economy mainly reliant on tourism and trade. With a more favorable external environment and double digit-growth in tourist arrivals, the country’s economy grew strongly in 2017.  However, the country remains dependent on oil imports that will result in higher inflation and widening current account deficit amid rise in global oil price. In addition, to combat the high level of government debts, IMF suggested to accelerating the reform process of loss-making state-owned enterprises to reduce government’s support to them. In August 2018, S&P affirmed their “B” rating and stable outlook, citing the risks of weaker-than-anticipated fiscal trajectory and balance-of-payments performance are offset by reasonably strong economic growth.

Hong Kong – Cabo Verde Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Cabo Verde increased by 265.9% from HK$12.6 million in 2016 to HK$46.2 million in 2017. The top three export categories to Cabo Verde were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (+336.9%), (2) office machines and automatic data processing machines (+129.3%), and (3) electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (+1,056.8%), which represented 99.5% of total exports to Cabo Verde.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) imposes no restriction on covering Cabo Verdeans buyers.  In the past 12 months (from October 2017 to September 2018), there was no insured business on Cabo Verde.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 23 October 2018

          
Flag and map of Carmeroon

 
Key Information
Capital   Yaoundé
Population   24 million
Area   475,442 sq km
Currency   CFA franc (pegged to the Euro at 1 EUR = 655.96 XAF)
Official language   French and English
Form of government   Unitary Republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 163 out of 190 in 2018 (↑3)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 116 out of 137 in 2017/18 (↑3)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 95 out of 160 in 2018
Major merchandise exports (% of total, 2016*)   Major merchandise imports (% of total, 2016*)
Agricultural products (47.0%)   Manufactures (53.3%)
Fuels and mining products (45.6%)   Fuels and mining products (26.5%)
Manufactures (7.4%)   Agricultural products (19.9%)
Top three export countries (% of total, 2017)   Top three import countries (% of total, 2017)
Italy (13.9%)   China (17.2%)
China (12.1%)   France (9.8%)
France (10.5%)   Thailand (5.1%)

*Most recent data available
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit, World Trade Organization

Political Highlights

 

Cameroon is a unitary republic dominated by a strong presidency. The president retains the power to control legislation and rule by decree. Incumbent President Paul Biya has been in power since 1982, making him one of Africa's longest-serving rulers. In October 2018, Biya was re-elected for another seven-year term.

 

Economic Trend

* Forecast

Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF)

Cameroon is the largest economy in the six-nation Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC) economic bloc. The country’s macroeconomic performance has been mixed against the backdrop of slower economic activity and rising security concerns. Economic growth in 2017 slowed mostly owing to a 17% decline in oil production, while the non-oil sector activity remained buoyant and grew 4.7% led by construction, food industry and services. According to the IMF, growth is expected to rebound to 3.8% in 2018, driven by the start of natural gas production, construction for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and improved energy supply.

  

Hong Kong – Cameroon Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Cameroon decreased by 36.6% from HK$914 million in 2016 to HK$579 million in 2017. The top three export categories to Cameroon were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (-38.2%), (2) office machines and automatic data processing machines (-4.7%), and (3) power generating machinery and equipment (+10451.2%), which represented 95.7% of total exports to Cameroon.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) imposes no restriction on covering Cameroonian buyers. In the past 12 months (from October 2017 to September 2018), there was no insured business on Cameroon.



Please click
here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 19 Oct 2018

Flag and map of Mauritania

 
Key Information
Capital   Nouakchott
Population   3.76 million
Area   1,030,700 sq km
Currency   Ouguiya (1 MRO = 0.0028 USD as of 16 October 2018)
Official language   Arabic
Form of government   Islamic republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 150 out of 190 in 2018 (↑10)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 133 out of 137 in 2017/18 (↑4)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 135 out of 160 in 2018
Major merchandise exports (% of total, 2016*)   Major merchandise imports (% of total, 2016*)
Major merchandise imports (% of total, 2016*)   Manufactures (56.9%)
Agricultural products (45.0%)   Fuels and mining products (22.1%)
Manufactures (0.2%)   Agricultural products (20.6%)
Top three export markets (% of total, 2017)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2017)
China (35.1%)   EU (28.5%)
EU (25.4%)   South Korea (18.1%)
South Korea (18.1%)   UAE (8.9%)

*Most recent data available
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit, World Trade Organization

Political Highlights

 

Mauritania gained independence from France in 1960. It is an Islamic republic with the president as Head of State and its constitution is grounded in French civil law and sharia (Islamic law). Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz became the country’s president since 2009 and he named Yahya Ould Hademine as new prime minister in 2014. In the parliamentary election held in September 2018, the ruling Union pour la République (UPR) remained the single largest party and has won 89 of 157 seats. The next presidential election is due in mid-2019.

 

Economic Trend

* Forecast
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit


Mauritania’s major industries included extraction (iron ore, gold and copper), fisheries and agriculture. Over half of the population relies on farming and raising livestock. The country registered a 3.5% economic growth in 2017, and growth in 2018 is expected to slow due mainly to the delayed impact of the drought on agriculture.  Inflation remained moderate at 2.3% on average in 2017, reflecting low global food price rises and stable non-tradable prices
.

 

Hong Kong – Mauritania Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Mauritania decreased by 65.2% from HK$23.5 million in 2016 to HK$8.2 million in 2017. The top three export categories to Mauritania were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (-74.6%), (2) electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (-12.5%), and (3) professional, scientific and controlling instruments and apparatus (+32.1%), which represented 83.4% of total exports to Mauritania.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) offers coverage on Mauritanian buyers with payment terms in Irrevocable Letter of Credit (ILC).  In the past 12 months (from October 2017 to September 2018), there was no insured business on Mauritania.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 16 October 2018

          
Flag and map of Burundi

 
Key Information
Capital   Bujumbura
Population   10.5 million
Area   26,338 sq km
Currency   Burundi franc (1 USD = 1,808.98 BIF as of 16 October 2018)
Official language   Kirundi and French
Form of government   Presidential Republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 164 out of 190 in 2018 (↓7)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 129 out of 137 in 2017/18 (↓6)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 158 out of 160 in 2018
Major merchandise exports (% of total, 2016*)   Major merchandise imports (% of total, 2016*)
Food (76.2%)   Manufactured goods (63.3%)
Manufactured goods (18.5%)   Fuel (17.3%)
Ores and metals (4.5%)   Food (16.6%)
Top three export markets (% of total, 2017)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2017)
United Arab Emirates (25.7%)   India (14.2%)
Congo, Democratic Republic of the (16.1%)   China (13.8%)
Pakistan (8.7%)   Saudi Arabia (9.1%)

Source: Economist Intelligence Unit
*Most recent data available

Political Highlights

 

Burundi is a presidential republic which gained independence from Belgium in 1962. The president is the head of state, head of government and commander-in-chief of the armed forces, who is elected by popular vote for a five-year term. The incumbent president Pierre Nkurunziza won his third term in July 2015 and the next presidential election is scheduled for 2020.


Burundi has a long history of civil conflicts involving its competing ethnic groups between the Hutu majority (85% of the population) and the Tutsi minority (15% of the population). A brutal civil war broke out in 1993 which had severely battered the economy. Despite a peace agreement between the Hutu and Tutsi was signed in 2000, peace remained elusive as violence persisted in some parts of the country. The country faced another political unrest in 2015 sparked by the opposition against president Nkurunziza’s bid to stand for his third term of office.

 

Economic Trend

^ Forecast
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit, International Monetary Fund (IMF)


 

Burundi has been listed on the Least Developed Countries (LDC) by the United Nation (UN) since 1971. Subsistence agriculture dominates its economy, accounting for nearly 40% of GDP and 80% of the population. Most Burundians remain afflicted by poverty and have limited access to food, water, sanitation and electricity. The high poverty rates represent the combined effects of stagnating economic growth, rapid increase in population and political fragility.

Economic growth is vulnerable as the country relies heavily on donor support from international community. Foreign aid represented over one-third of the country's national income in 2015-2016, among the highest level in Sub-Saharan Africa. Separately, the country will continue to run a structurally high current account deficit in coming years on account of a weak export base, an expected increase in oil price as well as the low level of foreign currency reserves.

 

Hong Kong – Burundi Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Burundi increased by 872.8% from HK$16 million in 2016 to HK$160 million in 2017. The top three export categories to Burundi were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (+948.7%), (2) office machines and automatic data processing machines (+2,279.1%), and (3) electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances and electrical parts thereof (-37.2%), which represented 99.3% of total exports to Burundi.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) offers coverage on Burundian buyers with payment terms in Irrevocable Letter of Credit (ILC). In the past 12 months (from October 2017 to September 2018), there was no insured business on Burundi.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 16 October 2018

 

       
Flag and map of Guinea

 
Key Information
Capital   Conakry
Population   12.4 million
Area   245,857 sq km
Currency   Guinean franc (1 USD = 9,112.15 GNF as of 12 October 2018)
Official language   French
Form of government   Presidential Republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 153 out of 190 in 2018 (↑10)
The Global Competitiveness Index by the World Economic Forum   # 119 out of 137 in 2017/18
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 145 out of 160 in 2018
Major merchandise exports (% of total, 2017)   Major merchandise imports (% of total, 2017)
Gold (47.9%)   Capital goods (49.4%)
Bauxite (45.2%)   Intermediate goods (10.9%)
Diamonds (3.1%)   Petroleum products (6.9%)
Top three export markets (% of total, 2017)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2017)
China (40.2%)   Netherlands (10.8%)
Ghana (17.3%)   China (8.3%)
UAE (9.5%)   India (7.7%)

Source: Economist Intelligence Unit

Political Highlights

 

Guinea is a presidential republic located in the western Africa. The president, directly elected for a five-year team by universal suffrage, is both the Head of State and Chief of Government. The president appoints all key ministers, including the premier minister, and selects officials on most administrative levels. Currently, political power rests mainly with president Alpha Conde, who has assumed office since 2010 and gained his second term of office in the 2015 election. Local elections were held in February 2018, the first time since 2005. Ibrahima Kassory Fofana was named the country’s new prime minister and a new government took office in May 2018. Looking ahead, parliamentary elections are scheduled in early 2019 and presidential elections in 2020.

 

Economic Trend

* Estimate ^ Forecast # Actual
Source: International Monetary Fund (IMF)


Guinea possesses valuable deposits of natural resources, including bauxite, iron, gold and diamonds. The economy is highly influenced by its mining activity, with mining sector accounting for over 95% of the country’s export revenue. Economic growth has remained above 8% over the past two years, attributable to the buoyant mining activity, strong construction activity and good agricultural performance, among other things.

The country’s current account deficit has narrowed in 2017, thanks to strong mining export growth, which increased by 79% in 2017, and continued inflows of foreign direct investments in the mining sector. The deficit is projected to widen in 2018 as a result of a surge in infrastructure spending and higher oil prices.

The country is supported by a three-year IMF financial package for about US$170 million. The facility is expected to support the government's 2016-20 National Socioeconomic Development Plan (PNDES), which aims to foster higher and more inclusive growth and reduce poverty through increased spending on infrastructure and social programmes.



  Hong Kong – Guinea Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Guinea increased by 24.2% from HK$100 million in 2016 to HK$124 million in 2017. The top three export categories to Guinea were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (+37.1%), (2) power generating machinery and equipment (+305.1%), and (3) electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances and electrical parts thereof (+75.9%), which represented 90.3% of total exports to Guinea.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) offers coverage on Guinean buyers with payment terms in Irrevocable Letter of Credit (ILC). In the past 12 months (from October 2017 to September 2018), there was no insured business on Guinea.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 12 October 2018


       
Flag and map of Angola

 
Key Information
Capital   Luanda
Population   29.3 million
Area   1,246,700 sq km
Currency   Angola Kwanza (1 USD = 301.421 AOA as of 12 October 2018)
Official language   Portuguese
Form of government   Presidential Republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 175 out of 190 in 2018 (↑7)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 159 out of 160 in 2018
Major Merchandise Exports (% of total, 2016*)   Major Merchandise Imports (% of total, 2016*)
Crude oil (91.5%)   Consumer goods (66.3%)
Liquefied natural gas (4.0%)   Chemicals, minerals, paper & plastics (22.5%)
Diamonds (3.7%)   Intermediate goods (11.2%)
Top three export markets (% of total, 2017)   Top three import markets (% of total, 2017)
China (61.0%)   Portugal (17.7%)
India (13.0%)   China (13.4%)
South Africa (4.2%)   USA (7.3%)

*Most recent data available
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit

Political Highlights

 

Angola gained independence from Portugal in 1975. It is a presidential republic where the president is both the head of state and head of government. In 2017, though narrowing compared to previous elections, the Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA) party won a comfortable (two-third) majority in the National Assembly and retained control of the executive branch. João Lourenço was elected President, replacing José Eduardo dos Santos who stepped down after 38 years in power. Lower oil prices and an unsustainable policy mix in the run up to the August 2017 elections placed the Angolan economy under stress. The Government of President João Lourenço is now focusing on restoring macroeconomic stability and improving governance and business environment.

 

On the diplomatic front, there has been a structural shift in Angola's export markets in recent years, away from the US, which is steadily reducing its oil imports, and towards Asia, particularly China. In October 2018, Angola secured US$2 billion financing from the China Development Bank for infrastructure projects on João Lourenço’s first visit to Beijing.

 

Economic Trend

* Forecast 
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit, International Monetary Fund


Angola is the third largest economy and second largest oil exporter in sub-Saharan Africa. Its economy is highly dependent on oil for both exports (over 90%) and fiscal revenue (around 50%). Lower oil prices since 2014 placed the Angolan economy under stress. Angola's currency and external debt face mounting pressure, with inflation running high at more than 20% a year and at least one in five of working age is jobless. The economy recovered modestly in 2018 but remains weighed down by an 8% contraction in the oil industry. In August 2018, credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P) has kept Angola’s rating unchanged at “B” in both local and foreign currency, as well as a stable economic outlook. In the statement, S&P expects the higher oil price will help Angola to reduce its budget deficit in the medium term and government reforms will support higher economic growth and government debt reduction from 2019 onward
.

 

Hong Kong – Angola Trade

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

Total exports from Hong Kong to Angola increased by 15.0% from HK$180 million in 2016 to HK$207 million in 2017. The top three export categories to Angola were: (1) telecommunications and sound recording and reproducing apparatus and equipment (+74.1%), (2) electrical machinery, apparatus and appliances, and electrical parts thereof (-34.0%), and (3) office machines and automatic data processing machines (-49.8%), which represented 82.0% of total exports to Angola.

 

Source: Census and Statistics Department of Hong Kong

 

HKECIC Underwriting Experience

 

The Hong Kong Export Credit Insurance Corporation (HKECIC) imposes no restriction on covering Angolan buyers. In the past 12 months (from October 2017 to September 2018), there was no insured business on Angola.

 

Please click here to download the charts (PDF format).

 

Last update: 12 October 2018

        
Flag and map of Djibouti

 
Key Information
Capital   Djibouti
Population   960,000
Area   23,200 sq km
Currency   Djibouti Franc (pegged to the US dollar, at 1 USD = 177.7 DJF)
Official language   French and Arabic
Form of government   Unitary Republic
Ease of doing business by World Bank   # 154 out of 190 in 2018 (↑17)
Logistics Performance Index by World Bank   # 90 out of 160 in 2018